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Prelude to Reconstruction: Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 through Dred Scott

In the wake of Prigg, Congress passes its worst law. Abolitionists debate whether the Constitution is pro-slavery, anti-slavery, or neutral. For love of a railroad, Stephen Douglas blows up the Missouri Compromise, and a preview of the Civil War breaks out in Kansas. The Republican Party coalesces out of disparate opponents to the Democratic Party’s increasingly aggressive stance on slavery. The Supreme Court issues its worst decision.

Participants: Leigh Barnwell, Harry Sandick, Jon Hatch