A great READING resource with QUESTIONS and ANSWER KEY included! It focuses on the topic of Dred Scott v. Sandford case.
Included are 1 page reading, 1 page question sheet and 1 page answer key! Perfect for homework assignments, classwork or reading for test review! Can be used for both middle and high school level.
The reading first provides background information about Dred Scott and how his circumstances led him to a lawsuit in state and federal courts. It mentions him living in Alabama and Missouri with his slaveowner Peter Blow before being sold to John Emerson, and moving to Illinois and Wisconsin. The reading raises the question whether Scott living in free territories qualified him as a free citizen status or a slave if he moved back to slave states. This will lead students to analyze Scott’s argument of living in a free territory guaranteed his emancipation and citizenship. Next, the reading will provide a detailed breakdown of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision. For instance, it mentions how the Supreme Court declared all people of African descent not American citizens whether they were freed or still enslaved. This meant they had no right to sue in a federal court because only whites were afforded that right. It also set forth the concept of slaves viewed as “property” of slaveowners and therefore a constitutional right. It would therefore be unconstitutional for Congress to enact the Missouri Compromise of 1820 as it denied southerners the right to own “property” according to the Fifth Amendment. Students will then analyze the effects and repercussions of the Dred Scott ruling. This reading will build upon the theme of sectional divide and heightened tensions between the North and South. For example, northern Democrats accused the ruling of the Dred Scott sent a pro-slavery message and suspected southern Democrats influencing the outcome of the decision. It will also mention how President Buchanan pressured Justice Robert Grier in agreeing with the southern majority to make it seem less obvious of a sectional decision. There will be a brief mention on how Abraham Lincoln gained political exposure after the Dred Scott case by criticizing the Supreme Court ruling and represented the Republican Party as a presidential candidate in the next election. Most importantly, the reading will emphasize how the ruling jeopardizes previous compromises and the concept of popular sovereignty as there was no need to vote for free or slave state if slavery was permitted. It ends on the note explaining how tensions were far from over as the nation was on the verge of a civil war.
Some vocabulary words and key terms included in this reading are Dred Scott, Peter Blow, Missouri, John Emerson, Wisconsin, John Sanford, Supreme Court, landmark, Constitution, Fifth Amendment, due process of law, Chief Justice Roger Taney, Missouri Compromise of 1820, 36’30 border, President Buchanan, Congress, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Justice Robert Grier, Abraham Lincoln, popular sovereignty and civil war.
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