The Dred Scott decision is noteworthy because, as some scholars and historians have noted, it highlighted some of the paradoxes and conflicts of American democracy. It divided the sentiments of abolitionists and slave owners along the fault lines of race and civic privilege. The case highlighted the questions of personhood and citizenry within the United States.
The major decisions in the Dred Scott v Stanford case involved the assertion in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” Contrary to that concept, the Supreme Court in 1857 decided that 1) the phrase did not include African slaves and 2) as a result could not live freely in American society as the equals of white citizens. The decision had dreadful consequences not only for Scott personally but for the nation as a whole. It influenced the start of the Civil War.