What was the effect of the Dred Scott decision?

1 Answer

In the North the law made Slavery more odious. In the South it made Slavery seem more acceptable.


The Dred Scott decision coupled with the harsher fugitive slave laws made slavery a permanent conditions for the black population.

Slaves that had escaped slavery by fleeing to the north now had to flee to Canada to be safe. People in the north were required by law to aide in the apprehension of escaped slaves or face prison and fines. The fact of slavery was now part of the ever day experience of the people of the north.

Black people who were born free, or had obtained their freedom had a difficult time proving that they were not escaped slaves. Many black people were forced into slavery by the harsh fugitive slave laws. The injustice of this infuriated people in the north that might have been indifferent to slavery before.

In the south the laws and supreme court rulings reinforced their belief that slavery was not only legal but a natural state of black people. This provided the people in the south with a sense of "self righteousness " in their practice of slavery.

The Northern opposition to the fugitive slave laws angered the southern population who felt their "rights" were being violated. This anger would be part of what caused the south to succeed from the union.