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NEWSPAPER REPORTS ON THE DRED SCOTT CASE:THE DIFFERENCES THAT LIE WITHINNina ThompsonAPUSHNovember 18, 2015
Thompson 1When it comes to the Dred Scott case, one of the major historical events leading up to theCivil War, it is safe to say that its outcome led to an influx of newspaper reports in both the northern and southern regions of the United States. Each newspaper shared the same general views as others in the same region, which aligned with the region’s views on slavery. However, itwould be incorrect to say that all aspects of these newspapers were the same. Therefore, close examination of northern and southern reports suggested that the regions were not completely unified in their beliefs, even though northerners were typically advocates for anti-slavery or abolitionism, and southerners were pro-slavery. Northern newspapers generally disagreed with the conclusions from the Dred Scott case while southern newspapers were generally satisfied with its outcome. However, even though newspapers in the same region were mostly in agreement, their responses suggested that they did not totally agree with each other’s views.Northern newspapers generally reported that the conclusions made by the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case were unconstitutional; because of this belief, they disagreed with the outcomes. One of the assertions made by the Supreme Court in this case was that according to the Fifth Amendment, slave owners had the right to bring slaves into new territories since slaves were their property, which is what the Fifth Amendment protected. However, the Chicago Tribune countered this statement by saying, “Congress may rightfully declare a man and every man in the territory free, and entitled to citizenship, but it cannot carry slavery there and be within their Constitutional duties.” 1Therefore, since the Chicago Tribunerefuted the Supreme Court’s decision, they obviously disagreed that bringing slaves into new territories was a constitutional right. Like the Chicago Tribune, the New York Tribune also addressed one of the 1Tribune, Chicago. “Dred Scott on the Missouri Compromise.” Chicago Daily Tribune(Chicago, IL), February 9, 1857. .
Thompson 2conclusions made in the Dred Scott case in order to refute it by the reporting on the court’s conclusion that slaves do not have the right to vote in the United States. The newspaper rejected this belief by saying, “grant that when the Constitution was framed nobody in Europe or Americaregarded Negros as men, and that, therefore, they could not have been thought of as citizens in the United States; grant all this, and it by no means follows that free negroes cannot sue in the Courts of the United States.”2Clearly, The New York Tribunefelt that the Supreme Court was notvalid in saying that a black person cannot sue because the Constitution had never outright addressed the rights of black people or their status as citizens according to the newspaper. The State Journal