Dred Scott Court Case Notes (1857)



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Dred Scott Court Case Notes (1857)



  • Dred Scott was a slave who wanted to sue for his freedom after his owner died.

  • His basis for suing was that his owner had taken him from the slave state of Missouri to Illinois (Rock Island) and later to Wisconsin, before returning to Missouri.

  • Scott believed since his owner had previously taken him to a free state he should have been given freedom

  • Slaves had no rights to sue but the President (James Buchanan) wanted the Supreme Court to make 2 rulings in the case

  1. Should Dred Scott be free or remain a slave?

  2. Where can slavery exist in the United States?

  • The 2nd ruling was the big one…supposed to end the arguing and debate about slavery in the country.

  • Chief Justice Roger Taney delivered the ruling. It said…

  1. Dred Scott is a slave and has no right to sue. He loses and will remain a slave

  2. Slaves were considered property when the founding fathers created the constitution. The 5th amendment of the constitution protects people’s right to own property. Therefore it would be a violation of the constitution for a state to tell someone they can’t have slaves. The major outcome of this decision is that slavery can now exist in any state. BIG WIN FOR THE SOUTH!


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