Decision Essay, Research Paper
The Dred Scott Case Against the Decision I am a northerner from Illinois that is against the Dred Scott decision. The Dred Scott decision that was just released is one of the most controversial decisions that Congress has made to date. It was also the worst pieces of legal reasoning ever to be issued by the Supreme Court. This case is a pure slavery issue. Either you are against slavery and disagree with the decision or are for slavery and agree with the decision. I am against slavery and strongly disagree with this decision and I believe that this country will have a huge fallout as result of it. Chief Justice argued that Scott, since he was a black man, had no rights in the United States, and therefore could not sue. I don t know about you but I believe that black people are living, breathing individuals that have a mind of their own. Black people make up the population of this country and should have rights that are protected. First of all, the decision was wrong. Mr. Scott was taken from the Slave State of Missouri to the free state of Illinois and then to the free territory of Wisconsin. He spent seven years in the free areas of the United States. The effect of taking slaves into the free territory emancipated the slaves completely. The slave is property by State law alone and Congress had no power to make him property. The slave owner could not carry his State law with him when he went into free territory. I thought that the free states and territories were “free” so there would be no slavery there. Slavery was an institution founded on territorial laws and these laws were meant to be followed. I could understand if they were taking a trip for a couple of months, but he spent 7 years on free land. And on top of that his master beat and ill-treated him before imprisoning him for twelve hours. This should have been enough to set Mr. Scott free, but it wasn t. This just proved that even if a state is free, it still was not safe for slaves.Another reason why it is bad is because this will have a huge affect on the turmoil between the north and the south. The decision took away all power that Congress had to regulate slavery in new territories. After this decision Northerners have reason to fear because if they do not stop slavery now, they might never get a chance to. Under the decision, slavery was found to be legal until the states voted against it. This gives the South a huge advantage that the Northerners must fear. They should realize that if they do not act swiftly, the Southern states might start expanding slavery into new territories and free states. This is the main reason why Civil War may erupt. Another reason why this decision is a mistake is because this ruling serves to turn back the clock concerning all of the rights concerning African Americans. They tried to declare that all black people in general were not citizens and they had not rights. The Chief Justice also said that since they were not citizens, Mr. Scott had not right to sue anybody. This ignored the fact that black men in five of the original States were voting citizens dating back to the Declaration of Independence. The most general definition of a citizen is a freeman. This person does not have to be a voter, but just a man that lives and breathes the air of the country in which he resides. Back in 1787 all free, native-born inhabitants voted. Negroes that were living in the five states during the adoption of the Constitution, were citizens as a result of this. This is even supported by Article IV of the Articles of Confederation, which states that “The free inhabitants of One State were entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens in all the other States.” This There are nearly 4 million slaves in America. This decision will affect every enslaved and free African American in the United States. The United States Constitution was made to tolerate slavery but not protect it, but after this decision there was no denying that Constitution did indeed protect slavery. The Supreme Court also ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. This prohibited slavery north of the parallel 36,30. They said it violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits Congress from depriving persons of their property without due process of law. This was so stupid because people knew that slavery was wrong when they came up with the Missouri Compromise and they didn t want slavery to expand throughout the country.If we are not careful our country is going to crumble right before our eyes. This one event could spark a huge Civil War, which could be ongoing for years. I thought that we were the “United” States but apparently we are not united at all. It doesn t seem like we are united now but hopefully someday we will be.
I read a quote from Abraham Lincoln the other day that summed this situation up the best. “Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man s nature opposition to it on his love of justice. These principles are in eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.” One thing this case did prove is that slavery and freedom could not coexist. Hopefully the Supreme Court will realize how stupid their decision was and something good will come out of it down the line. For the Decision I am a slave owner from Missouri that totally agrees with this decision for many reasons. First of all, Mr. Scott was under the ownership of his master who decided to travel to the free areas of Illinois and Wisconsin. I could understand if this was a permanent move, but there was an intention to come back to the slave state. Even if Scott had gained his freedom while residing in Illinois, he had regained his slave status upon returning to Missouri, which he did. I don t even believe that this case should have even come about because I don t believe Scott was a citizen of Missouri because he is the descendant of African Slaves. When slaves were introduced into this country they were subject to capture, purchase and commerce. A quote from Chief Justice, Roger Brooke Taney, of Maryland says, “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, guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen. I don t think so, so he doesn t have a constitutional right to sue. The framers of the Constitution did not view African Americans as citizens. At the time of the Constitution they were considered an inferior class of beings. All citizens of States, after the drafting of the constitution, were not considered citizens of the United States. African Americans were not citizens of the States then and should not be citizens now. Congress does not even have the authority to bar slavery from a territory. This is for two reasons. The Constitution gave the Congress only very limited power to legislate for the territories; and slaves are property, and property is protected by the due process of law clause of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution. This is why the 5th Amendment is superior to Congress s authority. There is no difference between property in a slave and other property. This Constitution does not distinguish the definition of property. Slaves are considered property these days, so the 5th Amendment stands superior in this case. And since Congress does not have the authority to make slaves illegal in free territories, that is why the Missouri compromise is unconstitutional. So because of this Dred Scott was never free to begin with due to the 5th Amendment. New Territories should be open to slavery unless it is voted down by the state. As you can see my friends, there are many reasons why this decision for this case was right and just. This case shouldn t have come about due to Mr. Scott s lack of citizenship. I don t believe that the Framers meant for slaves to be citizens then or now. Scott is a slave, and was so when this suit was brought. And that is why this decision stands. List of Sources Dred Scott s Case. By Vincent C. Hopkins.Fordham University Press. New York, NY 1951 The Dred Scott Decision.http://www.arthes.com/gdg/causes5.html Dred Scotthttp://www.rochester.k12.mn.us/john-marshall/overton/cwproj/groupm/m2.html The Dred Scott Decisionhttp://www.rochester.k12.mn.us/john-marshall/overton/cwproj/groupm/m2.html Impact of Dred Scotthttp://odur.let.rug.nl/ usa/E/dred_scott/scottxx.htm The Dred Scott Decisionhttp://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/dred.htm History of Dred Scotthttp://www.primenet.com/ blkaddr/ African American History: Dred Scotthttp://www.watson.org/ lisa/blackhistory/scott/index.html