Dred Scott

In the history of the United States there are not many court cases that have split the country virtually in half by one decision, but this is what happened in the Dred Scott Case.The decision made by the court split the Democratic Party in two, ended the Whig party, and formed the Republican Party, started a war and changed the course of American history. Until this decision the Supreme Court had a flawless reputation.Its prestige and credibility were beyond criticism.People on both sides of the slavery issue turned to the court hoping that the slavery issue, which could not be resolved politically, could be solved legally.The people were expecting too much.The major problem was the fact that the political nightmare of slavery was way too much of a problem to be solved in a court setting and any decision made either way, for or against slavery would have repercussions.1
In the Dred Scott Decision the court used the United States Constitution to bring peace on the issue of slavery.The court hoped its decision would end once and for all the question of slavery in the territories.They could not have been more wrong.For many years, the issue of slavery had been argued, both in and out of Congress with growing hostility.Instead of settling the issue, the Supreme Court's decision on the Dred Scott case made it clear that the issue of slavery could only be settled by war. The Dred Scott decision made by the Supreme Court was one of the main reason for the secession of the South and causes of the Civil War.2
In Virginia, Peter Blow and his family had many slaves. Among these slaves was a man named Dred Scott."Dred Scott moved to St. Louis with the Blows in 1830, but was soon sold due to his master’s financial problems.Scott was purchased by Dr. John Emerson, a military surgeon stationed at Jefferson Barracks, and accompanied him to posts in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory, where slavery had been pro…


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