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Social History for Every Classroom

menuAmerican Social History Project  ·    Center for Media and Learning

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  • Historical Eras > Antebellum America (1816-1860) (x)

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Chief Justice Taney's Majority Opinion in Dred Scott v. Sanford

In Dred Scott v. Sanford, Supreme Court judges considered two key questions: did the citizenship rights guaranteed by the Constitution apply to African-Americans, and could Congress prohibit slavery in new states? The first excerpt below addresses [...]

Selections from Alabama's Laws Governing Slaves

While slaveholders defended slavery as a benign system, this selection of laws, on the books in Alabama in 1833, suggest that slaves themselves were finding many ways to resist and escape it. Whites became particularly concerned about slave [...]

Runaway Slave Laws in Border States, 1794-1846

Every southern state passed laws, sometimes called slave codes, to restrict the activities of African Americans and to prevent slave rebellions. White lawmakers in slave-holding border states, such as Maryland and Kentucky, were particularly [...]


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