Video: 1857: The Dred Scott Case

National Association of Scholars

Dred Scott was a slave to U.S. Army surgeon Dr. John Emerson. In 1846, Scott sued for his freedom and that of his family, arguing that since he had been brought into a free state, he should be a free man. The case wound its way through the courts before landing in front of Chief Justice Taney's Supreme Court, which ruled, infamously, that black people were not included in the Constitution's definition of "citizen."

What were the long-term effects of the Scott decision? Did it contribute to the outbreak of the Civil War? What was the view of the decision at that time by Americans in the North? in the South?

This event will feature Hadley Arkes, Edward N. Ney professor emeritus of American institutions and political science at Amherst College; Mark Graber, Jacob A. France professor of constitutionalism and regents professor at the University of Maryland; and David Tubbs, associate professor of politics at The King's College. The discussion will be moderated by Vincent Phillip Munoz, Tocqueville associate professor of political science and concurrent associate professor of law at the University of Notre Dame.

Image by Uncredited -, Public Domain,

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