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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics


ISBN13: 9780195145885
ISBN: 0195145887
Published: October 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback
Price: £18.00



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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, this masterful examination of the most famous example of judicial failure--the case referred to as ""the most frequently overturned decision in history."" On March 6, 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the Supreme Court's decision against Dred Scott, a slave who maintained he had been emancipated as a result of having lived with his master in the free state of Illinois and in federal territory where slavery was forbidden by the Missouri Compromise.

The decision did much more than resolve the fate of an elderly black man and his family; Dred Scott v. Sanford was the first instance in which the Supreme Court invalidated a major piece of federal legislation. The decision declared that Congress had no power to prohibit slavery in the federal territories, thereby striking a severe blow at the the legitimacy of the emerging Republican party and intensifying the sectional conflict over slavery. This book represents a skillful review of the issues before America on the eve of the Civil War.

The first third of the book deals directly with the with the case itself and the Court's decision, while the remainder puts the legal and judicial question of slavery into the broadest possible American context. Fehrenbacher discusses the legal bases of slavery, the debate over the Constitution, and the dispute over slavery and continental expansion. He also considers the immediate and long-range consequences of the decision.

Contents:
Introduction
PART ONE: OUT OF THE PAST
1. Race, Slavery, and the Origins of the Republic
2. Slavery in the American Constitutional System
3. The Pursuit of Freedom
4. Expansion and Slavery in Early National Politics
5. Expansion and Slavery in a Continental Republic
6. The Territorial Question, 1848-1854
7. Toward Judicial Resolution
8. The Taney Court and Judicial Power
PART TWO: A DECADE OF LITIGATION
9. Dred Scott and His Travels
10. Versus Emerson
11. Versus Sandford
12. Before the Supreme Court
13. Voices in Confusion
14. What the Court Decided
15. The Opinion of the Court: Negroes and Citizenship
16. The Opinion of the Court: Slavery in the Territories
17. Concurrence and Dissent
PART THREE: CONSEQUENCES AND ECHOES
18. The Judges Judged
19. The Lecompton Connection
20. The Freeport Doctrine
21. Not Peace But a Sword
22. Reasons Why
23. In the Stream of History
Notes
Index