Dred Scott V. Sandford's Case In The History Of The Supreme Court

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Dred Scott v. Sandford is one of the darkest cases in the history of the Supreme Court.
After years of slavery, parts of the United States were beginning to head in a direction away from slavery. The establishment of the Missouri Compromise and gaining some territories as slave states and others as free states, was proof of this shift from slavery, especially in the north
(Pearson Education Inc. 2005). The Scott v. Sandford decision, in which an African American man was denied both his freedom and his citizenship to the United States, did not link up with this new way of thinking. The divided opinion amongst the Justices illustrated the divided nation
(Scott v. Sandford 1875).
When the Dred Scott case came to the Supreme Court, the nation was in a time of great divide, with pro and antislavery groups arguing about whether new states should enter the nation as "slave" states, where slavery was legal, or "free" states, where slavery was illegal. The nation was on the verge of violent conflict over the issue and Congress was too divided to do anything
(Pearson Education Inc. 2005). This argument was heightened by the establishment of the
Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had some territories enter the nation as slave states and others as free states (Independence Hall Association 2013). The Supreme Court did something out of character. In the midst of all this uncertainty, they took Scott v. Sandford and decided to make a ruling on this controversial issue (Pearson Education
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