week 4 response - any human rights in reference to slavery....

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Week Four Response: Question Three In his report, Taney attempts to explain the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott versus John Sandford. Taney explains that the case boiled down to a simple question: Could an African slave become a citizen based upon the Constitution, in particular referring to those who descend from slavery? As to answer this question, Taney refers to the constitution and the motives of the framers when they wrote the document. He says that for an entire century before the framers, the African race had been viewed as an inferior order. He elaborates to say that this was a fixed and universal opinion in the framer’s society. In answering the question Taney states that the framers had intended there to be a great divide between whites and blacks, and that this divide had no distinction between the free and those in slavery but was fixed upon the race as a whole. It seems that Taney characterized the framers as not even knowing they were violating
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Unformatted text preview: any human rights in reference to slavery. That the framers knew no better than what society had taught them. That it was simply part of the culture. In lecture, Professor Sargent provided evidence Jefferson had varying opinions in regards to the moral issues of slavery. It was said that Jefferson believed that slavery was a violation of human rights and all that it was, overall, not justified. But Jefferson also understood that slavery was an established staple of society that could not be changed without serious economic implications. This understanding of Jefferson provides a contrasting view to Taneys characterization of the founding fathers. Taney suggest that the founding fathers did not realize that slavery was unjustified because it was so entrenched in their culture, while Professor Sargent provides evidence that they did recognize slavery as unjustified and did not know how to deal with the matter at the time....
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This note was uploaded on 09/18/2011 for the course L&S 140D taught by Professor Laqueur during the Spring '11 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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