mar 6, 1857 - Dred Scott Case Decision
When Dred Scott, an African American slave, lived with his owner in Illinois, a free state, he believed he should be considered free, as his owner had no right to have a slave in a free state. The Chief Justice, Roger Taney, was pro-slavery and stated that Congress didn't have the right to prevent slave owners from having their slaves and thus couldn't prevent slavery in territories without state constitutions. Likewise, President Buchanan refused to grant popular sovereignty to Kansas, instead saying it must be admitted as a slave state. Stephen Douglas, who was very influential, then convinced Congress that it would be better not to admit Kansas as a state at all yet. Pro-slavery political leaders using their power to force others to bend to their will angered abolitionists. The Dred Scott case showed those who opposed slavery that the other side would use any means necessary, even illegitimately, to get their way. It proved that trying to peacefully settle the issue of slavery wouldn't be possible. Thus, battle would soon be approaching as the only way for one side to reign supreme and end the struggle.
Added to timeline:
Events Leading to the Civil War