Share |

Dred Scott and the Origins of American Citizenship

The goal of this topic is to use primary historical documents to facilitate discussion and civil discourse on topics that once led to—and in some cases continue to lead to—sharp schisms in society. By exploring previous moments of division, the conversations both highlight our history and provide a framework for creating a civil discourse around currently divisive issues.

This conversation focuses on questions of slavery and citizenship during the first century of American statehood. It is centered on the Supreme Court case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, but reaches back to the Declaration of Independence and forward to the 14th Amendment.