1 SHAPING AMERICA FINAL SCRIPT TITLE: Lesson 20: "Irrepressible Conflicts PREPARED FOR: Dallas TeleLearning WRITER: Gretchen Dyer PRODUCER: Julia Dyer DRAFT: Final DATE: 9 March, 2001
2 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 1 FADE IN: INTRODUCTION (1 min.) Music up 1. headline or obit from newspaper re death of Daniel Webster; public notice re Parker s sermon or cover of published sermon (?); image of Theodore Parker and/or Daniel Webster 2. ACTOR 20-1 Mathis Roll :23:31 ACTOR (Theodore Parker): Did men honor Daniel Webster? So did I. I was helped to hate slavery by the lips of that great intellect; and now that he takes back his words, and comes himself to be slavery s slave, I hate it tenfold harder, because it made a bondman out of that proud, powerful nature. 3. Images of Daniel Webster in Congress/Statue of Daniel Webster (6709) NARRATOR: Daniel Webster was one of Massachusetts most revered politicians. His distinguished career in government spanned 40 years, and for most of that time he was an outspoken critic of slavery. But when Congress passed the Compromise of 4. Poster advertising for fugitive slaves 1850, Daniel Webster made his own compromise with slavery. In the interest of protecting the Union, he supported the Fugitive Slave Law. 5. Webster Dishonored in the eyes of abolitionists, Daniel Webster died in Like Henry Clay, he did
3 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 2 not live to see the final unraveling of the Compromise of But it barely survived Webster himself. Segment One music up A Higher Law 6. Paul Finkelman on camera; Images of escaped fugitives and slave catchers; abolitionist literature and meeting notices PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:10) In 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850 the South gets a new fugitive slave law and among other things, it allows for the appointment of a federal commissioner in every county in the United States. 7. Richard Blackett on camera RICHARD BLACKETT (Roll 7126, 1:12:44) It created an entire mechanism for recapturing fugitive slaves. For instance, if you were a commissioner that granted a slaveholder the right to take his slave back to the South, you got more money than if you said no, you couldn t take the peeson back. 8. Paul Finkelman on camera/ intercut with advertisements in newspapers describing runaway slaves, advertising services of slave catchers, etc. PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:11:10) The law itself is very unfair. It does not give the alleged fugitive slave a right to testify in his own
4 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 3 hearing, so that the fugitive, the alleged fugitive can t say, you ve got the wrong person. 9. Richard Blackett on camera; intercut with images listed above or newspaper headlines re Fugitive Slave Law RICHARD BLACKETT (Roll 7126, 01:11:12) It said to people in the North, whether they were pro-abolitionists or anti-abolitionists, that they had to now become in effect either directly slave catchers or supporters of people who wanted to catch fugitive slaves. This changes the entire political mix. 10. Images of captured slaves, slave hunters NARRATOR: Most Northerners had no firsthand experience of slavery. When slave catchers came to their towns and cities, many witnessed for the first time its injury and injustice. 11. Paul Finkleman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:11) In many cases there are attempts to retrieve people who 12. B-roll of Beacon Hill neighborhood (6655/6656); or Harriet Tubman home (6809) actually had run away from slavery but had been away from slavery a very long time 10, 15, 20 years. They now had families, they had perhaps owned property in the North. And it struck northerners as just outrageous that somebody could come along and grab one of their
5 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 4 neighbors, the father of his freeborn children in Pennsylvania or Ohio, the husband of a freeborn black woman in one of those states, and simply snatch him and bring him back to slavery. 13. Image of abolitionist rally in Boston NARRATOR: The Fugitive Slave Law turned many citizens who were formerly indifferent to slavery into abolitionists. 14. ACTOR 20-3 Taylor Roll :09:45 ACTOR (Amos A. Lawrence) We went to bed one night old fashioned, conservative, Compromise Union Whigs and waked up stark mad Abolitionists. 15. anti-slavery literature, newspaper headlines NARRATOR: The Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society instructed that the law should be denounced, resisted, disobeyed and its enforcement on Massachusetts soil rendered impossible. 16. Richard Blackett on camera; images of northern black communities RICHARD BLACKETT (Roll 7126, 01:13) By and large there was open resistance, declared resistance of the law. And the communities organized to make sure that fugitives within their midst or fugitives who were
6 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 5 passing through their community would not be taken. 17. Images of local governments, notices of public meetings re Fugitive Slave Law NARRATOR: Wisconsin declared the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional. The Chicago City Council resolved not to cooperate with federal marshals in the enforcement of the law. And the 18. images of New York police mayor of New York City vowed that his officers would not assist in the capture and transport of fugitives. 19. Paul Finkelman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:16:03) One of the ironies of this period is that the states righters here are the people who are in favor of racial equality. And the people who are opposed to states rights turn out to be the southerners. The states rights arguments throughout the 1850 s are made by abolitionists who want their state to be able to protect people in their jurisdictions from the oppression of the national government. What we forget, and this is again very hard I think for Americans to come to terms with, is the Constitution is a pro-slavery document.
7 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/ Illustrations of runaway slave being pursued by slavecatcher 21. ACTOR 20-4 Cicero Roll :21: B-roll: Beacon Hill alleys and hiding places (6655/6656) 23. Images of Theodore Parker and Wm. Lloyd Garrison, covers of sermons or tracts re higher law ; statue of Garrison (6656) ACTOR/SINGER (fugitive song): The hounds are baying on my track / O Christians will you send me back? NARRATOR: For abolitionists such as Theodore Parker and William Lloyd Garrison, the higher law of God as revealed through one s own conscience superseded the manmade laws that sustained slavery. 24. RICHARD BLACKETT (Roll 7126, 1:16:51) Garrison s position is that the constitution was a wonderful phrase, a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. 25. Banner of The Independent 26. ACTOR 2-5 Hess Roll :18:18 ACTOR (Leonard Bacon, editor of The Independent): There is a higher law and you know it. It is a rule for political action, and you must obey it. 27. Images of slaves captured by federal officers NARRATOR: The non-compliance of antislavery agitators and higher-law proponents did not have a significant effect on the law s execution. But it was widely publicized in both
8 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 7 the North and the South. 28. Images of Boston in 1850 s, footage of Beacon Hill area (6655/6656) In Boston, where abolitionism was rampant, sympathizers gave refuge to escaped slaves, and on several occasions even snatched them back out of the hands of their captors. 29. Image of Anthony Burns or public notice of his arrest The arrest of Anthony Burns in Boston in 1854 brought the situation to a showdown. 30. Images of Wendell Phillips, Anthony Burns 31. ACTOR 20-6 Houston Roll :09:42 ACTOR (Wendell Phillips, abolitionist): I want that man set free in the streets of Boston. If that man leaves the city of Boston, Massachusetts is a conquered State. 32. Images of Boston abolitionist mob; state militias, Anthony Burns in chains, streets of Boston (6655/6656) NARRATOR: When abolitionists attempted to rescue Burns by force the attempt failed, leaving one man dead. Their attempts to prevent his departure by legal means were no more successful. And when they tried to buy his freedom, his owner was willing but the court refused to allow it. To prevent further attempts at rescue, the state assigned twenty-two companies of militia to
9 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 8 guard the prisoner. And President Pierce-- determined to prove that the federal government would back up the Fugitive Slave Law with force, if necessary--ordered marines, cavalry and artillery to Boston. When Burns was marched through the streets to a ship waiting in Boston Harbor, thousands of citizens lined the streets to protest his removal. Buildings were draped in black, and the American flag hung upside down. 33. CU on image of Anthony Burns in his walk thru Boston 34. ACTOR 20-7 Wood Roll :07:55 ACTOR (from The Rendition, by John Greenleaf Whittier): And as I thought of Liberty/Marched handcuffed down that sworded street/the solid earth beneath my feet/reeled fluid as the sea. 35. Abolitionist gathering; Wm. Lloyd Garrison; statue of Garrison (6656) NARRATOR: Several weeks later, at an abolitionist gathering on the 4 th of July, William Lloyd Garrison publicly set fire to the Constitution. 36. B-roll of Constitution (program 10) layered with flames 37. ACTOR 20-8 Mathis ACTOR (William Lloyd Garrison): So perish all compromises with tyranny. And let all the
10 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 9 Roll :00:33 people say, Amen. Short Take music up Uncle Tom s Cabin 38. Images of Harriet Beecher Stowe NARRATOR: The Fugitive Slave Law inspired defiance and civil disobedience across the North. It also inspired a woman named Harriet Beecher Stowe to write a book which would become an unexpected literary phenomenon. 39. Cover of The National Era, various issues containing serialized chapters of UTC 40. Could also use b-roll of slave quarters (6775, 6908) Uncle Tom s Cabin began as a series of sketches published in an abolitionist journal. When the sketches grew into a novel, printing presses could not keep up with the demand. 41. Richard Blackett on camera RICHARD BLACKETT (Roll 7126, 1:18) It s one of those books that just reaches and affects people in ways that nobody could ever anticipated. I suppose outside of the Bible and Pilgrim s Progress, no book had ever been read and had such an impact as Uncle Tom s Cabin. 42. British, French, German editions of UTC, etc. NARRATOR: Uncle Tom s Cabin sold 10,000 copies in the first week. It was translated into
11 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 10 dozens of languages, and became a bestseller in Europe, selling more than a million copies in the British Empire alone. 43. Richard Blackett on camera; UTC playbills and illustrations RICHARD BLACKETT (Roll 7126, 01:19) It was in the days when there was no copyright. Literally hundreds of thousands of copies here and in London appeared on the street, and so that it s not only serialized but it s also produced in cheap copies. Plays are produced based on Uncle Tom s Cabin. And some of the figures and the characters become well-recognized figures that appeal to the sentiments of people who are concerned about the evils of slavery. So in that sense, it reaches the public in ways that Douglass couldn t or Garrison couldn t or none of the other abolitionists could. SEGMENT TWO music up Bleeding Kansas 44. Images of the west circa 1850 s 45. B-roll of Cumberland Gap (6998) and Kansas (6999) NARRATOR: The Compromise of 1850 had put off the question of slavery in the territories for a few years. But the lure of the west was
12 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 11 irresistible. By 1854, Americans were clamoring for new lands to be opened for settlement, and Kansas and Nebraska were first in line. 46. image of Stephen Douglas 47. Historic map of Kansas (UTA) With his Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen Douglas, who would ultimately engineer the passage of the Compromise of 1850, became the unwitting engineer of its collapse. 48. Images of Douglas/intercut with newspaper headlines re Texas annexation, Oregon emigration, Nebraska Territory NARRATOR: Douglas was a tireless advocate of Western expansion. As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, he was eager to organize the Nebraska Territory so that it could be opened for settlement. 49. Political cartoon of Douglas as The Little Giant ; Statue of Douglas (6633) A man of small stature and enormous ambition, Douglas was nicknamed The Little Giant. 50. Image of Thomas Hart Benton/intercut with image of Douglas; historic map of U.S. (UTA-34/Roll 7149) 51. ACTOR Thompson Roll :16:50 ACTOR (VO) Thomas Hart Benton He thinks he can bestride this continent with one foot on the shore of the Atlantic, the other on the Pacific. But he can t do it he
13 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 12 can t do it. His legs are too short. 52. Images of covered wagon trains NARRATOR: In the 1850 s, westward expansion was a dream shared by many Americans. 53. Images of western farms, settlements; b-roll of pioneer village (6874/75/76) Northerners of the free soil, free labor persuasion wanted western lands opened to homesteaders. 54. Images of southern plantations Southerners were looking for opportunities to expand the dominion of slavery in the western territories. 55. Images of western Indians Neither North nor South was concerned about the Indian lands that lay in their path. 56. Robert Johannsen on camera/ intercut with images of Plains and Western Indians 57. Western landscapes (6874/6877) ROBERT JOHANNSEN (Roll 6869, 5:06) The Kansas-Nebraska Act in effect opened up this plains area to settlement by farmers and whoever. Which meant they were encroaching on Indian lands. So what had to be done with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was a renegotiation of all of the treaties, which was done in the latter 1850 s, pushing the Indians and the reservations north to what are now the
14 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 13 Dakotas and south into what is now Oklahoma. 58. Political cartoons, newspaper editorials, etc. re Douglas and popular sovereignty NARRATOR: Douglas was not concerned with the sovereignty of the Indian nations, and regarded them as little more than an obstacle to progress. But he believed in the popular sovereignty of white settlers. 59. Image of the handwritten bill (?) To this end, he drafted a bill which would organize two territories-- Kansas and Nebraska-- and allow the question of slavery in each territory to be decided by its inhabitants. 60. Robert Johanssen on camera/ intercut with cartoons, newspaper headlines, etc. ROBERT JOHANSSEN (Roll 6869, 5:01:10) He was dedicated or committed to this notion of popular sovereignty. He felt that was the only way to treat the slavery issue. Now he could take that attitude and still maintain a kind of antislavery view because he knew that slaveholders were not the ones who are migrating to Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, New Mexico and so forth. The people who were
15 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 14 migrating came from the free states. Slaveowners were not uprooting their plantations and moving them to Kansas. 61. Robert Johannsen on camera ROBERT JOHANSSEN (Roll 6869, 05:02:33) He also thought that popular sovereignty was a middle ground. He felt it would bring peace to the two sections. He was very wrong about that. 62. Public notices of Anti-Nebraska meetings; Historic map of Kansas-Nebraska survey (UTA- 36/Roll 7149) NARRATOR: The passage of the Kansas- Nebraska Act provoked a storm of reaction across the country. 63. Political cartoons/illustrations of Douglas burning in effigy (?) NARRATOR: As the man responsible for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Stephen Douglas was vilified. 64. Robert Johannsen on camera ROBERT JOHANSSEN (Roll 6869, 5:05) Especially the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused a vicious opposition. First of all in Congress, where Douglass was charged with all kinds of heinous things. Down on his knees before the slave power and all of this sort of thing. And Douglas returned to Chicago after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the
16 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 15 summer of 1854 and he said when he got to Chicago, he could have traveled by the light of his burning effigies all the way by train from Washington to Chicago. 65. Historic map of Kansas (UTA- 35/Roll 7149); Images of rough looking Kansas settlers and border ruffians; the open plains of Kansas; b-roll of Kansas (6999) NARRATOR: Once the bill was passed, the battle over slavery in the territories moved from the relatively controlled halls of Congress to the open ground of Kansas. 66. Image of William Seward 67. ACTOR Carlos Roll :21:37 ACTOR (William Seward): We will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give victory to the side which is stronger in numbers as it is in right. 68. Images of border ruffians; political cartoons or other images showing illegal voting; headlines of electoral tallies NARRATOR: While the North was sending large numbers of emigrants to Kansas, the South was gathering its forces in Missouri. At the first election, several thousand pro-slavery men crossed the border into Kansas and voted. The outcome of the election was overwhelmingly pro-slavery. But at least sixty percent of the votes were illegal.
17 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/ newspaper headlines; images of Lawrence, KS 70. B-roll of Lawrence, Kansas (6999) Free-staters elected a government of their own, which established itself in the city of Lawrence, Kansas. 71. Images of border ruffians, newspaper headlines re the Sack of Lawrence, etc. NARRATOR: In response, a territorial court judge sent a federal marshal with a posse to arrest the free-state leaders for treason. The posse degenerated into a mob, and the town of Lawrence was sacked its buildings burned, its homes looted, and its inhabitants terrorized. 72. Images of John Brown and sons; headlines re Pottawatomie killings Three days later, John Brown, a northern abolitionist, took vengeance for the sack of Lawrence. Estimating that five anti-slavery settlers had been 73. B-roll of Pottawatomie Creek (6997) killed thus far in Kansas, he selected five proslavery men at random from a settlement at Pottawatomie Creek, and had them executed by his small band of followers. 74. Images of Congress While border ruffians and bushwhackers fought it out in Bleeding Kansas, Senators and Congressmen fought a war of words in
18 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 17 Washington. But even there the rhetoric brought bloodshed. 75. Images of Sumner, Brooks and the caning episode/newspaper editorials from north and south re caning 76. B-roll of Old Senate Chamber (7042/6740) After Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts gave an anti-slavery speech, a Representative from South Carolina named Preston Brooks beat him senseless with a cane on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Southerners congratulated Brooks by sending him more canes. 77. Political cartoons; Kansas landscapes NARRATOR: Politics in Kansas became more complicated as the territory prepared to apply for statehood. Free Soilers and Republicans abstained from some elections, while pro-slavery Democrats abstained from others, and both sides stuffed ballot boxes. 78. B-roll of LeCompton Meeting House (6999) As delegates to a consititutional convention were preparing a constitution that legalized slavery, voters in the election of 1857 elected an antislavery legislature. 79. Robert Johannsen on camera ROBERT JOHANNSEN (Roll 6869, 5:10) The LeCompton Constitution was the effort on the part of the slave power to bring Kansas into the
19 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 18 Union as a slave state while they still could, while the population was still in flux. And Douglas saw that as such a travesty, a blow against popular sovereignty that although it was passed with and promoted by a Democratic president and by Democratic leaders from the South, Douglas opposed the LeCompton Constitution. 80. images of KS election, newspaper headlines re defeat of the Lecompton Constitution NARRATOR: Congress refused to ratify the LeCompton Constitution and returned it to the voters. This time, with election controls in place, the Free Soilers defeated it. 81. image of Stephen Douglas Stephen Douglas was a man ensnared in his own web. Popular sovereignty had failed to maintain the peace in Kansas. In fact, it had provoked a guerrilla war, and delayed statehood for years. 82. images of Bleeding Kansas and the caning of Sumner More importantly, the Kansas-Nebraska Act destroyed any pretense of harmony between the North and South. The gloves were off, and they would not be put
20 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 19 back on again. 83. Atlanta newspaper banner (?) 84. ACTOR Houston Roll :10:37 ACTOR (Atlanta newspaper editorial): We regard every man who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral and political blessing as an enemy to the institutions of the South. 85. Image of Theodore Parker 86. ACTOR Mathis Roll :24:36 ACTOR (Theodore Parker): The South I must say it is the enemy of the North. She is the enemy of our material welfare and our spiritual development. Her success is our ruin. Short-Take music up A New Party 87. images of Whigs and Democrats and party paraphernalia NARRATOR: The 1850 s was a decade of political realignment. The two traditional parties Whigs and Democrats were challenged by single-issue movements devoted to abolitionism, anti- Catholicism, anti-immigration and even temperance.
21 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 20 Sectionalism further undermined the two major parties, as they divided into southern and northern factions. 88. Robert Johannsen on camera ROBERT JOHANSSEN (Roll 6869, 5:12) The Democratic Party was becoming split, not quite there yet between northern Democrats and southern Democrats over the slavery issue. The Whig Party was unable to cope with this division and after the Kansas-Nebraska Act it went down the drain. It was out. In its place arose the first third party movement that eventually took on the name Republican Party, a new sectional party. 89. Anti-Nebraska paraphernalia, e.g., banners, buttons, illustrations, etc. NARRATOR: The Republican Party gathered Anti-Nebraska groups, free soilers and abolitionists into one party whose primary concern was the issue of slavery. 90. Robert Johannsen on camera/intercut with images of Republicans and party paraphernalia ROBERT JOHANNSEN (Roll 6869, 5:13) This is an important difference. The Whig Party was a national party with membership in both North and South. The Democratic Party is a national party. Now the Republican Party comes into
22 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 21 view as a Northern antislavery party, and this to Douglas is an ominous situation. If the Union is to be preserved, we can t afford to have these ideological parties. 91. Opposing images of William Seward and John Breckinridge NARRATOR: As the Republican party came to represent the North, the Democrats increasingly concentrated in the South. By the end of the decade, there was no major political party remaining that could transcend sectional differences. SEGMENT THREE music up Dred Scott 92. Images of Supreme Court justices circa B-roll of Supreme Court (from National Government series) NARRATOR: In 1857, the Supreme Court was a decidedly partisan institution. Of the nine Supreme Court justices, seven were pro-slavery Democrats. Five came from slaveholding families. Their desire to secure the rights of slaveholders would cause them to make the most infamous judicial decision in American history.
23 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/ Portrait of Dred Scott (6610) The man who started it all was named Dred Scott. 95. Paul Finkelman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:18:42) Dred Scott was a slave born in Virginia. His master ultimately moves him to St. Louis where he is sold a couple of times, and ultimately ends up in the hands of a man named John Emerson. John 96. Map 20-1, showing Dred Scott s movements Emerson is an army surgeon and when John Emerson is posted to various frontier forts--the first one is in what is today Rock Island, Illinois. He takes Dred Scott with him, as his servant. Now presumably Dred Scott becomes free the moment he s taken to Rock Island because Rock Island is in Illinois - it s called Fort Armstrong at the time. But Dred Scott remains a slave at Ft. Armstrong and then his master takes him to Ft. Snelling, which is today St. Paul, Minnesota. Now that is area that was made free under the Missouri Compromise. 97. Image of St. Louis circa 1850 s (Missouri Historical Society) 98. B-roll of Dred Scott courthouse and courtroom (6611/6612) NARRATOR: Several years later, Dred Scott returned to St. Louis with his master. But after
24 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 23 Emerson died, Scott sued for his freedom on the grounds that since he had lived in free territory he was no longer a slave. 99. cont d above (?) A jury of 12 white men in a St. Louis circuit court judged him legally free Paul Finkelman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:23) Two years later the Missouri Supreme Court reverses this. They reverse precedents going back to the beginning of Missouri s statehood and they are very frank about it. They say times have changed image of Emerson s widow, Sanford (?) NARRATOR: When John Emerson s widow remarried she transferred ownership of Dred Scott to her brother, John Sanford images of Dred Scott, his lawyer, courtroom illustrations PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:24) Sanford lives in New York but has business John interests in St. Louis, and so now Dred Scott can sue in federal court alleging he is a citizen of Missouri. His owner is a citizen of New York, and that s how the case goes forward to the Supreme Court.
25 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/ B-roll of Supreme Court (from National Government series) and/or images of Supreme Court in 1857 NARRATOR: No suit pressed by a slave had ever come before the Supreme Court before. It raised important questions Paul Finkelman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:24:18) The lawyers representing John Sanford made the argument that no black person can sue in federal court because black people can t be citizens of the United States image of Justice Roger Taney; ECU copystand of the opinion NARRATOR: The majority opinion in Dred Scott was written by Chief Justice Roger Taney. Taney was a resolute foe of racial equality, the Republican Party, and the antislavery movement Paul Finkelman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:25:28) Chief Justice Taney begins by saying Dred Scott can t sue because blacks can t be citizens and he makes a very famous statement. He says at the time of the Constitution they had no rights, they meaning blacks, had no rights that the white people needed to respect. Now having said that, Dred Scott can t sue, the technical legal thing
26 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 25 Taney should have done was said case dismissed. Because obviously if Dred Scott can t sue, then he can t be in court. Taney can t hear the case any longer image of Taney NARRATOR: But Chief Justice Taney didn t stop there Paul Finkleman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7044, 1:26) Taney goes on to face another constitutional question: the question of whether Congress could constitutionally have passed the Missouri Compromise. Did Congress have the power to 109. ECU copystand of 5 th amendment (from Bill of Rights) prohibit slavery in the western territories? And here he makes an argument based on the 5 th Amendment to the Constitution. The 5 th Amendment says you cannot be deprived of your property without due process of law. And so he makes the argument that the federal territories cannot ban slavery because slavery is a fundamentally protected property within the United States constitutional scheme Paul Finkelman on camera PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7045, 2:03:50) He
27 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/ Images of 19 th century slavery says basically, Look, the Constitution is proslavery. We have a proslavery country. Slavery is a protected property. It s protected more than any other kind of property and it s protected in the territories. This was also, by the way, essentially a drop dead letter to the new Republican Party. Because the new Republican Party, organized in 1854 after the Kansas- Nebraska Act, was based on the theory that you should stop slavery from spreading into the territories Banner of The Independent 113. ACTOR Hess Roll :18:30 ACTOR (from The Independent, NY): We fearlessly declare that there never was, under the whole heaven, a more atrocious, wholesale wickedness perpetrated upon the bench of justice than this image of Frederick Douglass 115. ACTOR Minor Roll :08:17 ACTOR (Frederick Douglass): Such a decision cannot stand. All that is merciful and just, on earth and in Heaven, will execrate and despise this edict of Taney Banner of the Richmond Enquirer ACTOR (from the Richmond Enquirer): The
28 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/ ACTOR Taylor Roll :23:15 nation has achieved a triumph, sectionalism has been rebuked, and abolitionism has been staggered and stunned Image of Dred Scott 119. B-roll of Dred Scott grave (6616) NARRATOR: Dred Scott himself was purchased by the sons of a former owner and set free a year later. But the controversy surrounding the Dred Scott decision did not quickly die down. Richard Blackett on camera RICHARD BLACKETT: It s that third element in the triangle of disasters I suppose, in the pre- Civil War decade. In that, here now the Court has joined the politicians in making a decision in this case in which the Supreme Court decides basically that Dred Scott and by extension all black Americans have no constitutional rights, that whites are bound to respect. SUMMARY ANALYSIS music up Revolutions Never Go Backward 120. reprise of images from previous segments NARRATOR: The events of the mid-1850 s radicalized many northerners and hardened their
29 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 28 stance against slavery. And they convinced southerners that the North was out to destroy their way of life. RICHARD BLACKETT ON CAMERA RICHARD BLACKETT: Well, it shows that the country is committed, clearly committed to the maintenance of slavery. And that radicalizes a number of people who then say that there is no, clearly there is no, option but to do something much more violent and much more radical if we are going to bring about change. Reprise footage NARRATOR: Out of this confusion and conflict a new political party was born, dedicated to ending the spread of slavery. The Dred Scott decision was intended to put an end to the discussion of slavery and to the Republican party. It had the opposite effect Paul Finkelman on camera; intercut with images of Lincoln PAUL FINKELMAN (Roll 7045, 2:12) The biggest winner in all of this is ultimately Abraham Lincoln. Because what Abraham Lincoln is able to do is to articulate a very careful and clear and easily understood attack on the Dred Scott
30 ES-20-3 Lesson 20: The Failure of Compromise 02/05/01 29 decision. He eviscerates Taney in speech after speech, after speech. He cuts the Dred Scott decision apart and shows the public who are not lawyers, who are not sophisticated politicans necessarily but in very plain Lincoln English, with his jokes and with his very kind of homespun articulation, he shows people what s wrong with the Dred Scott decision. And that ultimately makes him the Republican nominee in 1860 and gets him elected president Images of free blacks and whites at abolitionist meeting or other 118. ACTOR Carlos Roll :22:22 ACTOR (William Seward, 1858): I know, and you know, that a revolution has begun. I know, and all the world knows, that revolutions never go backward.