Origins of the Dred Scott Case: Jacksonian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court, 1837-1857 / Edition 1

Origins of the Dred Scott Case: Jacksonian Jurisprudence and the Supreme Court, 1837-1857 / Edition 1

by Austin Allen
     
 

The Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denied citizenship to African Americans and enabled slavery's westward expansion. It has long stood as a grievous instance of justice perverted by sectional politics. Austin Allen finds that the outcome of Dred Scott hinged not on a single issue—slavery—but on a web of assumptions, agendas, and commitments

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Overview

The Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denied citizenship to African Americans and enabled slavery's westward expansion. It has long stood as a grievous instance of justice perverted by sectional politics. Austin Allen finds that the outcome of Dred Scott hinged not on a single issue—slavery—but on a web of assumptions, agendas, and commitments held collectively and individually by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney and his colleagues.

Allen carefully tracks arguments made by Taney Court justices in more than 1,600 reported cases in the two decades prior to Dred Scott and in its immediate aftermath. By showing us the political, professional, ideological, and institutional contexts in which the Taney Court worked, Allen reveals that Dred Scott was not simply a victory for the Court's prosouthern faction. It was instead an outgrowth of Jacksonian jurisprudence, an intellectual system that charged the Court with protecting slavery, preserving both federal power and state sovereignty, promoting economic development, and securing the legal foundations of an emerging corporate order—all at the same time. Here is a wealth of new insight into the internal dynamics of the Taney Court and the origins of its most infamous decision.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820328423
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
05/01/2006
Series:
Studies in the Legal History of the South Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x (h) x 0.80(d)

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Table of Contents

Introduction : beyond the sectional crisis1
Pt. IBeneath Dred Scott : Jacksonian jurisprudence and the dimensions of self-rule9
1Realizing popular sovereignty : partisan sentiment and constitutional constraint in Jacksonian jurisprudence13
2Imposing self-rule : professionalism, commerce, social order, and the sources of Taney court jurisprudence36
3Evidence of law : popular sovereignty and judicial authority in Swift V. Tyson52
Pt. IIToward Dred Scott : slavery, corporations, and popular sovereignty in the Web of law69
4Moderating Taney : concurrent sovereignty and answering the slavery question, 1842-185275
5The limits of judicial partisanship : corporate law and the emergence of southern factionalism98
6The sources of southern factionalism : corporations, free blacks, and the imperatives of federal citizenship116
Pt. IIIInescapable opportunity : the Supreme Court and the Dred Scott case133
7The failure of evasion : Dred Scott v. Emerson, Strader v. Graham, Swift v. Tyson, and Dred Scott v. Sandford139
8The political economy of blackness : citizenship, corporations, and the judicial uses of racism in Dred Scott160
9Looking westward : concurrent sovereignty and the answer to the territorial question178
Epilogue : United Court, divided union : judicial harmony and the fate of concurrent popular sovereignty203

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