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U.S. v. Amistad: A Case of Jurisdiction

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

In 1841, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case United States v. Libellants of Schooner Amistad. With your classmates, closely examine the majority opinion in this case and respond to the questions below in writing. Use the highlighted sections to guide you, then click the arrow and magnifying glass icons in the blue menu bar at the bottom of the document to look more closely.

Be prepared to share your responses during a class discussion.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

U.S. v. Amistad: A Case of Jurisdiction

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

Examine the documents included in this activity and write your response in the space provided.


  • What court had original jurisdiction?
  • Which court was next to hear the case? What was the result?
  • What was the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Libellants of Schooner Amistad?
  • According to the Constitution, why does the Supreme Court have the authority to hear this case? Provide the exact article and section.

Your Response




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Activity Element



Conclusion

U.S. v. Amistad: A Case of Jurisdiction

Focusing on Details: Spotlight

Using this Google Map, view the route the schooner Amistad took from Africa to the United States. Do you agree with the Circuit Court's decision that the United States had the authority to hear this case?

Justice Story stated in the Supreme Court opinion that “...it was the ultimate right of all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression and to apply force against ruinous injustice.” Do you agree with his assertion in this case?

Your Response




Document

Opinion of the Supreme Court in United States v. the Amistad

3/9/1841

This primary source comes from the Records of the Supreme Court of the United States.
National Archives Identifier: 301672
Full Citation: Opinion of the Supreme Court in United States v. the Amistad; 3/9/1841; Records of the Supreme Court of the United States, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/opinion-of-the-supreme-court-in-united-states-v-the-amistad, November 21, 2017]


Opinion of the Supreme Court in United States v. the Amistad

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Opinion of the Supreme Court in United States v. the Amistad

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Opinion of the Supreme Court in United States v. the Amistad

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