What reasons did the Supreme Court provide to support its decision in the Dred Scott case?

  • To what extent do you think that the Dred Scott case influenced the outbreak of the Civil War in the United States? Why do you think this way?
  • What other specific events that took place between 1820 and 1860 that were even more influential in bringing about the Civil War? Explain your answer.
In the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, the U.S. Supreme Court attempted to settle once and for all the issue of slavery. Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before being moved back to the slave state of Missouri, had appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom. The Supreme Court denied his plea, determining that African Americans were not – nor could ever be – citizens of the United States. The decision also invalidated the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which placed restrictions on slavery in U.S. territories.

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