G@G Relearn U.S. History—The Dred Scott Decision and the Coming of the Civil War
Mick Chantler, Instructor
REGISTER for Session Two:
The Dred Scott Decision and the Coming of the Civil War
Wednesday, October 19
Gathering Space (1520 Grand Ave; San Rafael)
In 1857 the Supreme Court handed down the most controversial decision in the history of that august body. Chief Justice Roger Taney six of his colleagues ruled that African-Americans were not and could not be citizens of the United States. Their ruling excluding Blacks from the national body politic included free Blacks as well as slaves. (Yes, there were thousands of free African-Americans on the eve of the Civil War—in some Northern states they could even vote.) The Court also struck down the Missouri Compromise, a political strategy that had kept slavery out of many of the newly formed states in the west for nearly forty years. The ruling outraged antislavery men and women in the North, including one Abraham Lincoln. We will dissect this complicated and thorny court ruling, and see how it placed the country directly on the path to secession and the Civil War.