Definition of the Dred Scott Case from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the Dred Scott Case

 
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(also the Dred Scott decision)
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a US Supreme Court decision in 1857 that a slave was not a citizen and could not begin a legal case against anyone. Dred Scott was a slave who wanted a court to say he was free because his owner took him to a free state. The Supreme Court also decided that Congress had no power to prevent slavery in new states. The case divided the nation and led indirectly to the Civil War.