Dred Scott Decision
Definition for dred scott decision (2 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for dred scott decision
Word Origin and History for dred scott decision
surname, by early 12c., from Old English Scott (see Scot); also a personal name in Old English
Culture definitions for dred scott decision
Dred Scott decision
A controversial ruling made by the Supreme Court in 1857, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Dred Scott, a slave, sought to be declared a free man on the basis that he had lived for a time in a “free” territory with his master. The Court decided that, under the Constitution, Scott was his master's property and was not a citizen of the United States. The Court also declared that the Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery in certain areas, unconstitutionally deprived people of property — their slaves. The Dred Scott decision was a serious blow to abolitionists (see abolitionism).