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Dred Scott was the name of an African-American slave He was taken by his master anofficer in the US Army from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois andthen to the free territory of Wisconsin He lived on free soil for a long period of timeWhen the Army ordered his master to go back to Missouri he took Scott with him back tothat slave state where soon after his master died In 1846 Scott was helped byAbolitionistanti-slavery lawyers to sue for his freedom in court claiming he should befree since he had lived on free soil for a long time The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Roger B Taneywas a former slave owner from Maryland In March of 1857 Scott lost the decision asseven out of nine Justices on the Supreme Court declared no slave or descendant of a slavecould be a US citizen or even had been a US citizen As a non-citizen the court statedScott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave At that time there were nearly 4 million slaves in America The courts rulingaffected the status of every enslaved and free African-American in the United States Theruling served to turn back the clock concerning the rights of African-Americans ignoringthe fact that black men in five of the original States had been full voting citizens datingback to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 The Supreme Court also ruled thatCongress could not stop slavery in the newly emerging territories The Court also declaredthat it violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution which prohibits Congress fromdepriving persons of their property without due process of law Anti-slavery leaders in theNorth cited the controversial Supreme Court Decision as evidence that Southerners wantedto extend slavery throughout the nation and ultimately rule the nation itself Southernersapproved the Dred Scott decision believing Congress
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