The Feds Don't Free Dred

1857

Dred Scott was a slave to doctor who took him outside the south and through Illinois and Wisconsin. These states held that any enslaved person brought into the state became free through the Missouri Compromise and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Dred Scott sued the federal governments to try to win his freedom. Despite other slaves' success in court, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that Dred Scott, a negro, had no rights whatsoever. He was property, not a person or a citizen. He had no right to sue in federal court. Further, the court ruled that the federal government had no legal right to interfere with the institution of slavery. Dred Scott will not receive his freedom today.
Because the case left the decision of slavery to the states, southern states were extremely overjoyed. Slavery advocates have begun to make plans to expand slavery into all of the western states. On the other hand, abolitionists are outraged at the result of the case. They feel a blatant disregard of previous legislature is unconstitutional, and is continuing the institution of slavery. As the issue of slavery becomes more divided, so does the country.