There were several varying positions in the Amistad lower court case. The Spanish laid claim to the “property” that were the Africans claiming it was a legal slave ship connected to Cuba and the southern states. There were also two military men claiming the slaves as theirs due to salvaging rights, and then the defense which was proving that they were taken illegally from Africa.
4. In what way is the battle for the freedom of the kidnapped Africans a microcosm of the growing sectional conflict in America?
The Amistad case took on a reflection of the state of the conflict between the North and the Abolitionists and the South and their desire to continue the status quo of slavery as a necessity of the fabric of American economics.
5. What issues drive John C. Calhouns monologue at dinner?
Calhouns speech at the dinner table in this movie had two main points. One was that slavery as an institution was necessary for the continued economic viability of America, and the other was to make then President Van Buren wary of being the President who started a civil war and thus the possible collapse of the new nation.
6. Describe the defense John Quincy Adams used before the Supreme Court
Adams defense to the Supreme Court focused on the fact that the Amistad Africans were not cargo or property. Instead they were free people of Africa, pointing out that if Cinque was white would be honoring him as a hero. Furthermore, he juxtaposed the American revolutionists with the Amistad Africans fighting for their liberty from oppressors.