Essay on The Impact of the Dred Scott Case on the United States

Essay on The Impact of the Dred Scott Case on the United States

Length: 1457 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Impact of the Dred Scott Case on the United States

The Dred Scott Case had a huge impact on the United States as it is today. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments have called it the worst Supreme Court decision ever rendered and was later overturned. The Dred Scott Decision was a key case regarding the issue of slavery; the case started as a slave seeking his rightful freedom and mushroomed into a whole lot more. 65
The reason why Dred Scott decided to pursue his freedom is unknown, but there are a couple theories. For example, it is believed that “most likely, Scott decided to bring his case to court after years of [talks] with other slaves that had done the same.” (Herda, 30) This shows that, Scott was not an ignorant, uninformed man and had reason to believe he could obtain freedom for himself and his family. This also shows that he took a long look at the issue before making the decision to sue for his freedom. In addition, he may have also been convinced by “several talks with his old friends, the Blows, who were sympathetic to his troubles.” (Herda, 30) This shows that his previous owners, turned friends, the Blows, may have been a major influence; being Scott’s staunch supporters throughout his life. This also shows that the Blows encouragement, on top of other slave’s actions, may have been what finally convinced Scott to pursue the suit for his freedom. In conclusion, several factors convinced Scott to sue for his freedom including the opinion of his previous owners, the Blows. 188
It is also possible that his original lawyer Samuel Mansfield Bay saw opportunities for a large reward due to his services to Scott, and initiated litigation. For example, some feel that Bay’s “object was to pave the way for a suit against the Emerson estate for the twelve years’ wages to which Scott would be entitled to,” (Herda, 29) should he win the case. This shows that, money could have been the driving force behind this case. This also shows that Scott may have been persuadable to another person’s reasons for pursuing the case. In addition, if this was true and Scott “had been illegally held as a slave since 1834.” (Herda, 30) This shows that, he would have the right to compensation, and therefore be entitled to what would be a lot of money. This also shows, how a mistake by a master in his traveling...

... middle of paper ...

...he [lack] of jurisdiction in that court.” (SD) This shows that, Chief Justice Taney and the others had decided that finding the other court had no ability to rule as it had was all they needed to address. This also shows, how in a bias court (pro-slavery) that a decision could be tainted. In conclusion, the Supreme Court decided Dred Scott could remain a slave, and that they did not support the limiting of slavery. 225
In Conclusion, the Dred Scott Decision took a long drawn out journey through the court system to be literally, and figuratively dismissed. It addressed a subject, which was not popular, freedom for slaves, and went through several courts, without receiving any merit. While it is not a well-known case, it is on point as to the conflicts over slavery, and how they led to the Civil War. It has been considered the worst decision ever made by the Supreme Court, and for good reason. 84

Works Cited

Herda, D.J. The Dred Scott Case: Slavery and Citizenship
Berkeley Heights, New Jersey Enslow Publishers, 1994.

Lukes, Bonnie. The Dred Scott Decision San Diego, California,
Lucent Books, 1997


Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dred Scott V. Sandford Case Essay

- Roger B. Taney and John McLean: On Dred Scott v. Sandford case Slavery was pervasive in the South of the United States, where virtually all states in this territory relied on cash crop farming and as such used the slaves to perform manual work. The slaves were treated harshly and subjected to horrible conditions to provide sordid labor. On the advent of President Abraham Lincoln’s rule, various reforms began that ushered in the battle for slave freedom. The northern states were utterly averse to slavery while about ten southern states clung on and defended it on the basis of managing their economy....   [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States]

Strong Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Dred Scott V. Sanford Research Paper

- Dred Scott v. Sanford Research Paper Citizenship is often a word taken for guaranteed by natural born citizens in the United States today. The word citizen is a word over looked and skimmed as one may browse through the constitution. In today’s society it may seem long ago that citizenship wasn’t granted to everyone, but the word segregation may strike a nerve. Dred Scott v. Sanford, 1856 landmark Supreme Court case is a prime example of the struggle slaves had in their disputes to be free. There goes another word- free....   [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States]

Strong Essays
1073 words (3.1 pages)

commentary Dred Scott Essay

- This commentary will focus on the impact of the Dred Scott decision in America. Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia to the family of Peter Blow originally. The family moved to St. Louis and sold Scott to Dr. John Emerson, a military surgeon stationed at Jefferson Barracks. Scott traveled with Dr. Emerson to different areas such as Illinois and Wisconsin territories, where slavery was prohibited. This is because of the Missouri Compromise, this compromise was created to end expansion of slavery and permitted Missouri to entered as a slave state and Illinois was entered as a free state....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about Dred Scott Case Justice vs Jurisdiction

- Dred Scott Case Justice vs Jurisdiction "Justice v. Jurisdiction, Research Paper on Dred Scott v. Sandford" Described as being poorly educated, indigent, feeble, and ill prone, Dred Scott seemed consistent with society's definition of the black slave. However, he was an articulate man who changed our society and American standards. Married to Harriet Scott with four (4) children, Dred wanted to provide his family with a sense of dignity and decency that a free man's status would warrant him. He was the cause of a change in how society viewed Negroes....   [tags: essays papers]

Strong Essays
1907 words (5.4 pages)

Exploration And Expansion Of The United States Essay

- “We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past.” (O’Sullivan n. pag.) This quote from “John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny, 1839” demonstrates the beliefs the Americans of the time felt about moving. Westward expansion is an immense part of the history of the United States because it allowed the American culture to broaden. Many people in the nineteenth century believed that America would be a great and powerful nation in the years to come....   [tags: United States]

Strong Essays
1256 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The United States And The Civil War

- During the mid nineteenth century the United States started to part, yet at the center of the century individuals perspectives began to wind up more concrete thus detachment in the Union turned out to be more extreme. From 1850 to 1861 it was evident that the union was isolating into the North and the South. The Constitution assumed a noteworthy part in the division that was happening. Through sectional preference of bits and pieces of the Constitution and through thoughts that were let well enough alone, the Constitution prompted sectional dissension and nearly failure to the union....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War]

Strong Essays
758 words (2.2 pages)

Slavery Of The United States Essay

- Slavery in the United States Slavery first started in the United States in the 17th century when an English warship brought slaves into Jamestown in 1619. John Rolfe was the one that reported that he thought it was a Dutch ship but it was the English warship the White Lion that actually brought the first slaves into Jamestown. Slavery ended not by the Emancipation Proclamation, but it was the 13th amendment that officially abolished it. While slavery was very cruel and horrible to do to African Americans, it was an effective way of making crops and harvesting crops in a very cheap and fast way....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War]

Strong Essays
709 words (2 pages)

The Dread Scott Decision Controversy Over Slavery Essay

- The Dread Scott decision exacerbated the debate over slavery by declaring that blacks cannot be citizens and that Congress does not have the power to prohibit slavery in the territories, which further divided the North and the South. The decision also deeply affected politics, and was one of the causes of the Civil War. In 1846, African slave Dred Scott sued for his freedom on the grounds that he resided in the free states of Illinois and the Wisconsin/Minnesota territory to serve his owner. In 1854, Scott appealed his case to the Supreme Court, seeking to reverse the District court’s decision declaring him still a slave....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War]

Strong Essays
1559 words (4.5 pages)

The United States ' Freedom Essay

- There are a lot of words that can be associated with the United States of America, but one that has become a staple since the country’s inception in the late 18th century is freedom. Although the country recognizes July 4, 1776, as the inauguration of their freedom, it is a quality that has remained constant throughout the country’s history. Although colonies are traditionally just a means for countries to gain money and resources, the United States broke the colonial norm by liberating themselves from the superpower that was Great Britain....   [tags: American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln]

Strong Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about The Dred Scott Case Of 1857

- The Dred Scott case of 1857 was one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in American history. The decision proved that America did not condemn slavery and in fact allowed it to fester in the society of the mid nineteenth century. Dred Scott was an African-American slave whose name became known throughout the fledgling nation of the United States of America. Most of Scott’s origins remain unknown because slaves in America had little to no formal papers of identification, and legal records were not kept for slaves....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, United States]

Strong Essays
720 words (2.1 pages)