Jacksonian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court, 1837-1857
Author: Austin Allen
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
The Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denied citizenship to African Americans and enabled slavery's westward expansion. It has long stood as a grievous instance of justice perverted by sectional politics. Austin Allen finds that the outcome of Dred Scott hinged not on a single issue—slavery—but on a web of assumptions, agendas, and commitments held collectively and individually by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney and his colleagues. Allen carefully tracks arguments made by Taney Court justices in more than 1,600 reported cases in the two decades prior to Dred Scott and in its immediate aftermath. By showing us the political, professional, ideological, and institutional contexts in which the Taney Court worked, Allen reveals that Dred Scott was not simply a victory for the Court's prosouthern faction. It was instead an outgrowth of Jacksonian jurisprudence, an intellectual system that charged the Court with protecting slavery, preserving both federal power and state sovereignty, promoting economic development, and securing the legal foundations of an emerging corporate order—all at the same time. Here is a wealth of new insight into the internal dynamics of the Taney Court and the origins of its most infamous decision.
This is an abridgement of the Pulitzer-Prize winning The Dred Scott Case, making Fehrenbacher's monumental work available to a wider audience. Although it condenses the original by half, all the chapters and major themes of the larger work have been retained, providing a masterful review of the issues before America on the eve of the Civil War.
Slave or citizen? This was the key question that Dred Scott brought to the United States Supreme Court in May of 1857. Author D. J. Herda examines the ideas and arguments behind this landmark case. Presented in a lively, thought-provoking overview, Herda brings to life the people, the case, and the fateful decision that upheld the legality of slavery.
Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law
Author: David Thomas Konig
Publisher: Ohio University Press
In 1846 two slaves, Dred and Harriet Scott, filed petitions for their freedom in the Old Courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. As the first true civil rights case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Dred Scott v. Sandford raised issues that have not been fully resolved despite three amendments to the Constitution and more than a century and a half of litigation. The Dred Scott Case: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law presents original research and the reflections of the nation’s leading scholars who gathered in St. Louis to mark the 150th anniversary of what was arguably the most infamous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision, which held that African Americans “had no rights” under the Constitution and that Congress had no authority to alter that, galvanized Americans and thrust the issue of race and law to the center of American politics. This collection of essays revisits the history of the case and its aftermath in American life and law. In a final section, the present-day justices of the Missouri Supreme Court offer their reflections on the process of judging and provide perspective on the misdeeds of their nineteenth-century predecessors who denied the Scotts their freedom. Contributors: Austin Allen, Adam Arenson, John Baugh, Hon. Duane Benton, Christopher Alan Bracey, Alfred L. Brophy, Paul Finkelman, Louis Gerteis, Mark Graber, Daniel W. Hamilton, Cecil J. Hunt II, David Thomas Konig, Leland Ware, Hon. Michael A. Wolff
Presents the Dred Scott Case in which American slave Dred Scott (1795?-1858) sued for his freedom in the Circuit Court of Saint Louis County. Offers access to the full text of the case, the opinion of the court, the concurring opinions, and the dissenting opinions. The information is presented by the Department of Humanities Computing at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands.
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*Includes the full text of the Dred Scott decision and every opinion written by the Supreme Court justices. *Analyzes the Dred Scott decision and its impact on future civil rights cases. *Includes pictures of important people, places, and events. "The question is simply this: Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen? " - Dred Scott v. Sanford Dred Scott was an unlikely candidate to become the impetus and rallying cry of a brand new political party in the mid-19th century. Born into slavery in Virginia as Sam Scott, the young slave took the name of his older brother Dred after Dred's death, and he moved throughout Southern slave states as property of the Blow family until he was sold to U.S. Army doctor John Emerson in St. Louis, Missouri. Emerson's commission in the Army eventually brought him to the Wisconsin Territory in 1836, which was north of the line established by the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and was thus free territory where slavery was illegal. Naturally, Emerson brought his slaves along with him, and Dred Scott thus lived for an extended period of time in free territory, his slave status being a violation of the Missouri Compromise, the Northwest Ordinance, and the Wisconsin Enabling Act. By 1840, Dred Scott had married another slave of Emerson's named Harriet, and the couple had a child. Desperate to shake off the yoke of slavery but unable to buy his family's freedom, Scott sued for his freedom in Missouri, arguing that once he had entered free territory he could no longer be a slave. Scott's case made its way through the court system, and when the Missouri Supreme Court struck down a lower court ruling in Scott's favor, Scott and his lawyers appealed to the United States Supreme Court. What followed was the 19th century's most important and far-reaching case. In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against Scott and Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote what is widely considered the most notorious opinion in American jurisprudence. The Court held that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because slaves and their descendants were not and could not be citizens of the United States because the Constitution never intended for them to be citizens. Thus, Scott had no standing to bring a case in court to begin with. Since every black person in the country had presumably come as a result of the slave trade or was the descendant of a slave, the Court essentially ruled that blacks could not be American citizens. Additionally, the Court opined that Congress could not prohibit slavery in federal territories, had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories. Taney hoped the case would help settle the growing political tension over the issue of slavery, but it had the opposite effect of becoming a springboard for Republicans and Abraham Lincoln. Though Scott and his family were set free just months after the case, he would die less than two years after being part of one of America's seminal cases. American Legends: The Life of Dred Scott and the Dred Scott Decision looks at the life of one of the most famous slaves in American history and the plaintiff in one of its most famous cases, but it also humanizes the man whose yearning for freedom shaped the destiny of a nation. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Dred Scott and the Dred Scott Decision like you never have before.