Slavery, Law, and Politics: The Dred Scott Case in Historical Perspective

By Don E. Fehrenbacher | Go to book overview

Preface

This book is an abridged edition, with some minor revisions, of The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics ( Oxford University Press, 1978). In order to retain as much of the original text as possible within the desired limit on total length, it has seemed advisable to dispense with documentation entirely. Anyone who wants badly to know the authority for a particular statement or the source of a particular quotation can find it, with just a little trouble, in The Dred Scott Case. Footnotes aside, this abridgment is approximately half the length of the original volume but incorporates all of its chapters and major themes. I have cut much illustrative and collateral material and have found it disconcertingly easy to make stylistic economies. The result is a book less rich in detail but more to the point-- suitable, I hope, for academic use and for the enlightenment of the general reader.

Again I acknowledge with gratitude the help of Charles Lofgren, Carl N. Degler, Walter Ehrlich, Robert W. Johannsen, William M. Wiecek, Carol Clifford, Virginia Fehrenbacher, and Sheldon Meyer and the editorial staff of Oxford University Press. Also Green Library, the Law School Library, the Institute of American History, and the office staff of the Department of History at Stanford University; the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Library of the United States Supreme Court, the

-vii-

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Slavery, Law, and Politics: The Dred Scott Case in Historical Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Slavery and Race in the American Constitutional System 7
  • 2 - Expansion and Slavery in National Politics 41
  • 3 - Toward Judicial Resolution 72
  • 4 - The Taney Court and Judicial Power 102
  • 5 - The Dred Scott Case in Missouri 121
  • 6 - Before the Supreme Court 151
  • 7 - The Opinion of the Court 183
  • 8 - Concurrence, Dissent, and Public Reaction 214
  • 9 - The Lecompton and Freeport Connections 244
  • 10 - Not Peace but a Sword 273
  • 11 - In the Stream of History 295
  • Selected Books for Further Reading 309
  • Index 313
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