mar 6, 1857 - Dred Scott v. Sandford
Dred Scott, Cheif Justice Roger B. Taney
Scott had opened the whole view on where African Americans, free or enslaved, were placed on the citizenship scale. Before being rather forcibly put in his place as a non-citizen due to 'still being a slave', even though he lived in a free state and since it was a free territory, it was assumed that he was both a free African American as well as a citizen of the US. Whenever this case was brought up, the Chief Justice of Maryland, Roger B. Taney, wrote a rather impactful opinion, declaring "that Negores, whether enslaved or free, could not be citizens of the United States and that Scott, therefore, had no right to sue in federal court." Even though this statement was rather controversial, it led to the arguments over the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, how Congress could not prevent southerners from moving their slaves North due to them being the property of the owner, without actions being taken through the due process of law. He then concluded that "the provisions of the Northwest Ordinance and the Missouri Compromise that prohibited slavery had never been constitutional" as well as "Congress could not give to territorial governments any powers that did not possess, such as the authority to prohibit slavery".
"In a single Stroke, Taney had declared the Republican proposals to restrict the expansion of slavery through legislation to be unconstitutional. " Though both Taney and Buchanan were later accused of believing in the Slave Power Conspiracy, this whole situation led to Kansas being delayed as a slave state(later becoming a free one instead), as well as, Buchanan pursuing negotiations to purchase Cuba to aid the south. Even furthering the split between the Republican party and the nation, the Dred Scott case opened Buchanan's true intention for the proslavery agenda.
Added to timeline:
Events Leading up to The Civil War