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It meant that the territories did not know whether they could declare themselves to be free soil when they joined the United States.

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The Supreme Court declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional and claimed that Congress could only control its own territories, but could not pass legislation governing existing states or future states developed from those territories. Citizen groups were also forbidden from creating slave-free zones or states.

The Court also held that slaveholders could not be deprived of their "property" (the slaves) while on "free soil," without having their Fifth Amendment rights infringed under the Takings Clause.

The decision legally hamstrung the federal government and abolitionists, increasing tensions between the North and South and acting as a catalyst for the Civil War.

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13y ago
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4y ago
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14y ago

When the Court met for the first time since the reargument to discuss the case on February 14, 1857, it favored a moderate decision that ruled in favor of Sanford but did not consider the larger issues of Negro citizenship and the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise. The majority chose Justice Nelson as the writer of a decision that avoided these important but highly controversial issues, and Nelson went to work on it. When Nelson presented his opinion to the majority, however, he discovered that his "majority" opinion turned out to be the opinion of only himself. [11] The Court elected to throw out Nelson's decision and instead chose Chief Justice Roger B. Taney as the writer of the true majority opinion for the court, an opinion that would include everything under consideration in the case, including Negro citizenship and the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise. According to Justice Catron, one of the members of the majority, "the court majority. . .had been orced up' to its change of plan by the determination of [Justices] Curtis and McLean to present extensive dissenting opinions discussing all aspects of the case."[12] The majority decided that if the dissenters covered all the issues, they must also. Ironically, the two most antislavery justices may have forced a more proslavery opinion than what the majority originally planned to decide.

By mid-February 1857, many well-informed Americans were aware that the conclusion of the Scott v. Sandford case was close at hand. President-elect James Buchanan contacted some of his friends on the Supreme Court starting in early February; he asked if the Court had reached a decision in the case, for he needed to know what he should say about the territorial issue in his inaugural address on March 4. By inauguration day 1857, Buchanan knew what the outcome of the Supreme Court's decision would be and took the opportunity to throw his support to the Court in his inaugural address:A difference of opinion has arisen in regard to the point of time when the people of a Territory shall decide this question [of slavery] for themselves.

This is, happily, a matter of but little practical importance. Besides, it is a judicial question, which legitimately belongs to the Supreme Court of the United States, before whom it is now pending, and will, it is understood, be speedily and finally settled. To their decision, in common with all good citizens, I shall cheerfully submit, whatever this may be. [13]

Just two days after Buchanan's inauguration, on March 6, 1857, the nine justices filed into the courtroom in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, lead by Chief Justice Taney. Taney was almost 80 years old, always physically feeble, and even weaker as a result of the effort he had put forth to write the two-hour-long opinion; therefore, he spoke in a low voice that Republicans deemed appropriate for such a "shameful decision." [14] He first addressed the question of Negro citizenship, not only that of slaves but also that of free blacks:Can a Negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guaranteed by that instrument to the citizen?[15]

One of the privileges reserved for citizens by the Constitution, argued Taney, was the "privilege of suing in a court of the United States in the cases specified by the Constitution."[16] Taney's opinion stated that Negroes, even free Negroes, were not citizens of the United States, and that therefore Scott, as a Negro, did not even have the privilege of being able to sue in a federal court. Taney then turned to the question of the constitutionality of the Missouri Compromise. The territories acquired from France in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, Taney stated, were dependent upon the national government, and the government could not act outside its framework as set forth in the Constitution. Congress, for example, could not deny the citizens of the new territory freedom of speech. Similarly, Congress could not deprive the citizens of the territory of "life, liberty, or property without due process of law," according to the Fifth Amendment. Taney continued:And an act of Congress which deprives a citizen of the United States of his liberty or property, merely because he came himself or brought his property into a particular territory of the United States, and who had committed no offense against the laws, could hardly be dignified with the name of due process of law.[17]

The Constitution made no distinction between slaves and other types of property. Taney reasoned that the Missouri Compromise deprived slaveholding citizens of their property in the form of slaves and that therefore the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. Scott's case had one last hope: the Chief Justice could decide that Scott was free because of his stay in the free state of Illinois. Taney made no such decision, instead stating that "the status of slaves who had been taken to free States or territories and who had afterwards returned depended on the law of the State where they resided when they brought suit." Scott had brought suit in Missouri and hence he was still a slave because Missouri was a slave state. Taney ruled that the case be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction and sent back to the lower court with instructions for that court to dismiss the case for the same reason, therefore upholding the Missouri Supreme Court's ruling in favor of Sanford.

ANSWERED BY : Solace Walsh FROM HAMPSTEAD,NC

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14y ago

To public astonishment, the Supreme Court interpreted the badly-worded Constitution to indicate full protection for slavery.

Taken literally, this would mean that no state in the Union could outlaw slavery, and that all the official compromises agreed between North and South were invalid.

This infuriated the increasingly powerful Abolitionist lobby, raised the temperature of the whole debate, and brought war closer.

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13y ago

It sharpened the whole tone of the debate, and made compromise less likely.

The Supreme Court appeared to rule that no state could declare itself to be free soil.

This delighted the South. But it infuriated the Abolitionist lobby, and may have been the final trigger for John Brown's raid.

It gave fresh heart to the South, as it appeared to give slavery total protection everywhere.

In the North, it infuriated the increasingly powerful Abolitionist lobby, and raised the temperature of the whole debate.

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9y ago

Slavery was not allowed in any new states formed from the Louisiana Territory.

No new enslaved people could be brought into any of the territories.

Any enslaved people living in the territories would be freed after age 25.

Slavery would be allowed in certain areas but not in others.

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8y ago

It drew a line through western territories to determine future free and slave states

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11y ago

It effected slavery's westward expansion because slavery would'nt be loyal in any territoy North.

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12y ago

because he died then

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10y ago

Look in your text book

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Q: How did the Missouri Compromise impact the expansion of slavery into the territories?
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How does The Missouri Compromise change the issue of slavery expansion in the US?

It prohibited slavery North of a certain parallel, but only in the territories brought in under the Louisiana Purchase. When the new Mexican territories came in, they needed a new compromise. That one did not hold.


How Missouri compromise related both to the existing territorial status of slavery and to its possible future expansion to the west?

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 addressed the issue of slavery and its expansion into newly acquired territories. It established a line, known as the 36°30' parallel, where slavery would be prohibited in the northern territories of the Louisiana Purchase, excluding Missouri. This compromise attempted to maintain a balance of power between slave and free states while addressing increasing tensions between the North and South. However, it only temporarily delayed the eventual conflict over the expansion of slavery in the West.


Why did the northerners protest Douglas's plan to repeal The Missouri Compromise?

The northerners protests DouglasÕs plan to repeal the Missouri Compromise because it would have made slavery legal in the northern territories. The Missouri Compromise had outlawed slavery in territories and new states above the Missouri Compromise line.


The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed parts of which previous decision?

The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850, specifically the provision that prohibited slavery in territories north of the 36°30’ parallel. Instead, the Act allowed for the potential expansion of slavery into those territories based on popular sovereignty.


Why did many abolitionists refuse to support the Missouri Compromise?

Many abolitionists refused to support the Missouri Compromise because it allowed for the expansion of slavery into new territories, which went against their goal of ending slavery altogether. They believed that compromising on the issue would only serve to perpetuate the institution of slavery.


The Missouri Compromise forbid the expansion of slavery west of the Mississippi?

True


What did The Missouri Compromise halt the northern expansion of?

Slavery. It established a parallel, North of which slavery was illegal.


What temporarily settled the dispute over the westward expansion of slavery?

Missouri Compromise


Why did southern whits feel threatened by the Missouri compromise?

Southern plantation owners feared the Missouri Compromise would limit the expansion of slavery, and eventually the institution of slavery itself.


What territories Did Missouri compromise allow slavery in?

The Missouri Compromise addressed slavery in the Arkansas and unorganized territory of the Great Plains. Slavery was prohibited in all of these areas, except within the boundaries of Missouri.


What did the Missouri Compromise the Compromise of 1850 and Bleeding Kansas have in common?

They all Dealt with the expansion of slavery into the western lands


What was the underlying issue the Missouri Compromise was intend to address?

The overriding issue was slavery. The compromise included The Fugitive Slave Act and agreement to allow slavery within the borders of Missouri.