Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

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The landmark Supreme Court cases of Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas have had a tremendous effect on the struggle for equal rights in America. These marker cases have set the precedent for cases dealing with the issue of civil equality for the last 150 years. In 1846, a slave living in Missouri named Dred Scott, sued for his freedom on the basis that he had lived for a total of seven years in territories that were closed to slavery. Scott's owner had been an army doctor named John Emerson. Emerson's position had required him to move several times in a relatively short amount of time. During his time with Emerson, Scott had lived in the state of Illinois, which was …show more content…
In doing so, it ignored the fact that free African American men had full voting rights in five of the original states since the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The decision served to reinforce the fears of northerners and abolitionists alike that the south had the intention of spreading the infernal institution of slavery to every corner of the U.S. The ruling had the effect of enlarging the sociopolitical divide between the north and the south and brought the nation closer to civil war. The next critical Supreme Court ruling on the issue of civil rights was in 1892 with the Plessy v. Ferguson case. Homer Adolph Plessy was a shoemaker from the state of Louisiana. Although Plessy was seven eighths white and only one eighth black. According to the law in Louisiana, he was still required to use the facilities designated as "colored". In an attempt to challenge the law, Plessy, with the support of civil rights activists, bought a ticket for the first class coach on the East Louisiana Rail Road. Plessy boarded and sat down in the first class coach. Just after the train departed the station the conductor confronted Plessy. The conductor asked him if he was black, Plessy told him he was and that he refused to leave the coach. The train was stopped; Plessy was arrested and formally charged at the fifth street police station. Even though the judge

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