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Playing Favorites: Dred Scott's Judicial Politics and its Effect on Black Citizenship and Southern Honor

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Abstract:

To the occasional observer of American history and politics, the American Civil War occurred because the North and the South failed to agree on the institution of slavery. However, this “failure to agree” was not the sole impetus behind the Civil War. Rather, it was a deep division over social and economic mores that led to the sectional division of the Union into “North” and “South”. Southern honor, a phenomenon foreign to Northerners, was the hallmark of southern mores, and any proposed change to their insulated community posed a significant threat. The proposed changes that constituted such a threat to Southern honor were black citizenship and black emancipation. Southern honor was not limited to the southern community; it permeated the existing judicial institutions of that time, including the Supreme Court. Members of the judiciary concerned with national unity were able to curtail the threat black citizenship and black emancipation posed to southern honor with some degree of legitimacy. A careful deconstruction of Dred Scott v. Sanford will illustrate how certain members of the judiciary sympathetic to both Southern honor and the existence of “Union”, particularly Chief Justice Roger Taney, diminished the fight for black citizenship and the threat it posed to Southern honor, yet ultimately eviscerated the Union.

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state (107), slave (102), slaveri (94), southern (83), black (68), law (61), court (56), scott (55), polit (54), honor (52), justic (50), taney (50), new (47), would (45), dred (39), american (39), white (35), feder (35), constitut (33), fugit (31), south (30),
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Name: The Midwest Political Science Association
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http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


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MLA Citation:

Brown, Ronald. and Rajan, Sara. "Playing Favorites: Dred Scott's Judicial Politics and its Effect on Black Citizenship and Southern Honor" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois, Apr 21, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p83927_index.html>

APA Citation:

Brown, R. and Rajan, S. G. , 2004-04-21 "Playing Favorites: Dred Scott's Judicial Politics and its Effect on Black Citizenship and Southern Honor" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, Illinois Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p83927_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: To the occasional observer of American history and politics, the American Civil War occurred because the North and the South failed to agree on the institution of slavery. However, this “failure to agree” was not the sole impetus behind the Civil War. Rather, it was a deep division over social and economic mores that led to the sectional division of the Union into “North” and “South”. Southern honor, a phenomenon foreign to Northerners, was the hallmark of southern mores, and any proposed change to their insulated community posed a significant threat. The proposed changes that constituted such a threat to Southern honor were black citizenship and black emancipation. Southern honor was not limited to the southern community; it permeated the existing judicial institutions of that time, including the Supreme Court. Members of the judiciary concerned with national unity were able to curtail the threat black citizenship and black emancipation posed to southern honor with some degree of legitimacy. A careful deconstruction of Dred Scott v. Sanford will illustrate how certain members of the judiciary sympathetic to both Southern honor and the existence of “Union”, particularly Chief Justice Roger Taney, diminished the fight for black citizenship and the threat it posed to Southern honor, yet ultimately eviscerated the Union.

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Associated Document Available The Midwest Political Science Association
Associated Document Available Political Research Online

Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 35
Word count: 11264
Text sample:
Playing Favorites: Dred Scott’s Judicial Politics and its Effect on Black Citizenship and Southern Honor1 Ronald Brown Wayne State University Sara Gorman Rajan Wayne State University To the occasional observer of American history and politics the American Civil War occurred because the North and the South failed to agree on the institution of slavery. However this “failure to agree” was not the sole impetus behind the Civil War. Rather it was a deep division over social and economic mores
Thornton “A Brief Examination of the Scripture Testimony on the Institution of Slavery” New York 1841 A House Divided: The Antebellum Slavery Debates in America: 1776-1865. Princeton University Press: Princeton. Tyler Samuel (1876) Memoir of Roger Brooke Taney LD.D: Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. John Murphy & Co: Baltimore. Walzer Michael (1983) Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality. Basic Books New York. Wright F. Benjamin (2002) The Federalist by Alexander Hamilton


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