Abolition of Slavery

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Dred Scott was a non-citizen slave who was given to his owner’s wife after he died, and she took him to a free state. He pleaded for freedom. His famous court case was taken to the Supreme Court and Roger B Taney, Supreme Court Justice at the time, ruled that he must go back to his owner because the Fifth Amendment stated that you cannot be stripped of your property, and slaves were property. During the Mexican war, it was a very large concern that the new land acquired during the war would become slave states. In reaction to this concern, David Wilmot, a congressman from Pennsylvania proposed a bill that stated that any lands picked up through the duration of the war would become free states. The bill was never passed, however it politicized finally and definitively ever since the Missouri Compromise. The Northerners wanted a president who would abolish slavery and the South clearly did not, so when Lincoln, a “Black Republican”, became presidential candidate South Carolina threatened to and eventually did secede from the union. The South was very concerned with the fact that in some of their states slaves were the majority of the population and therefore they lived in fear of slave rebellions. Discipline therefore had to be quite severe to quell the rebels. The rebellions that did breakout were quickly suppressed, such rebellions as John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and the one led by Nat Turner. White blood was shed on both occasions, which made the voices preserving slavery louder. Until the 19th century, slavery was considered an acceptable part of the economic system, enabling many countries in Europe and elsewhere to profit and prosper from the trade of goods produced by enslaved labor. It came as no surprise that there were still many people around 1860 in the antebellum period, who still wanted to preserve slavery. They even went to such extents as to say that the Bible and science justifies it. Some falsely explained that the blacks were...
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