Union in CrisisBuchanan won, but his term in office began inauspiciously. Two days after his inauguration, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, a key case that addressed the status of African Americans in American society. The ruling of Chief Justice Roger Taney was hailed in the South but blasted by infuriated antislavery forces in the North. The decision further heightened the sectional tensions in the country. The Dred Scott decision. As a slave, Dred Scott had been taken by his master from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois and then to the free territory of Wisconsin, where they lived during the 1830s. After his master died, Scott tried to buy his freedom; when that failed, he sought relief in the courts. He
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