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DOC Final Study Guide

DOC Final Study Guide - FINAL Study Guide Chapter 23 Dred...

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FINAL Study Guide Chapter 23: Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) – Excerpted by Paul Finkelman Synopsis: This court case dealt with slavery and the rights of slaves and the ability of Congress to forbid slavery. Dred Scott was a slave who moved to a free state and he had a daughter in this free state, then went back to Missouri where he used to be a slave. At that time, there was a legal doctrine that said “once free, always free.” The main question of this case was what Dred Scott’s legal status was when he returned to Missouri – slave, or not slave? Supreme Court Justice Taney questioned whether or not blacks even really belonged to America, and therefore was subject to the doctrine. This case set the stage of the Civil War and exacerbated conflict in the US. Main argument: Blacks were not included in the Constitution, and therefore can’t claim any rights and privileges from with which that instrument provides. Taney argues that citizens are only citizens when the Constitution was written, and back then, it did not include imported slaves and descendants. The Declaration of Independence did not mean to include people of African ancestry even when it said that all men were created equal. In the end, Scott was deemed a slave, which was a terrible decision and the aftermath was that there was a debate in the US about who is actually appointed to the SC. Many people felt that it had overturned the doctrine of “once free, always free.” Sandford wins, Scott loses 7-2. Key terms/concepts: slavery, who belongs?, Declaration of Independence, “once free, always free,” African American rights, Constitution; justice – Blacks lacked this because they were excluded from the rights that everyone else had simply for their race even though they are still human beings. Chapter 24: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: Alton, Illinois (1858) by Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln Synopsis: After the Dred Scott case, Lincoln and Douglas had a debate about who should be included, states rights, and African American rights. Douglas rooted for the states rights and argues that the Framers of the Constitution wanted states to be sovereign, and make their own laws to their own circumstances, no centralized administration. He also applies the slippery slope concept and argues that if we give rights to people of African descent, then they’ll live among the whites and try to make babies (racial mixing). Lincoln argues for equality, even though
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Douglas thinks its threatening and bad for the nation. Lincoln is nervous about being labeled as someone supporting the blacks, but he points out that slaves were present when the Constitution was written. The Framers did not mention Blacks/white race in the Constitution because their intent was to get America off of slavery. Douglas said that state legislatures have the right to implement their own laws, and Lincoln agrees, but says that does not mean that all laws are the same. This period led to the Reconstruction period, where slaves were freed in the South and
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DOC Final Study Guide - FINAL Study Guide Chapter 23 Dred...

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