First 446 words of the document:
The 1850 Compromise
*The Texas Annexation resolution had required that if any new states were formed out of
Texas' lands, those north of the Missouri Compromise line would become free states
*After the United States won vast southwestern territories from Mexico in 1848,
Congress was faced with the question of whether to permit slavery in this region.
Antislavery Northerners endorsed the Wilmot Proviso, an amendment to ban the spread
of slavery, while Southerners insisted that any restriction on slavery would split the
*The House of Representatives was so divided that it could not even elect a new
Speaker, so solving the territorial problem fell to the Senate. Henry Clay
(WhigKentucky) returned from retirement to craft one more compromise to save the
Union. Clay put together an omnibus bill that would admit California to the Union as a
free state, allow New Mexicans to decide whether they wanted slavery, preserve slavery
in the District of Columbia, and enact a tough fugitive slave law to allow slave owners to
hunt down runaway slaves in the North.
*Daniel Webster (WhigMassachusetts) delivered an eloquent appeal for the
compromise, warning Southerners who threatened to secede from the Union that there
could be "no such thing as peaceable secession." By contrast, John C. Calhoun
(DemocratSouth Carolina) spent the last days of his life fighting against the
* Clay's strategy was to have the Senate vote upon his compromise as a whole, so that
senators would have to accept even the portions of the package they disliked. When
this tactic failed, an exhausted Clay left Washington to rest. In his absence, the young
Stephen A. Douglas (DemocratIllinois) took apart the omnibus bill, put together
different majorities for each of its parts, and won their passage separately. The situation
was changed by the death of President Taylor and the accession of Fillmore on July 9,
1850. The influence of the new administration was now thrown in favor of the
compromise. Although not popular in any section of the country, the Compromise of
1850 delayed civil war in the United States for another decade.
*Most Northern Whigs, led by William Henry Seward who delivered his famous "Higher
Law" speech during the controversy, opposed the Compromise as well because it
would not have applied the Wilmot Proviso to the western territories and because of the
new fugitive slave law, which would have pressed ordinary citizens into duty on
THE FIVE BILLS THAT WERE PASSED:
Other pages in this set
Here's a taster:
California was admitted as a free state. It passed 15056.
2. The slave trade was abolished (the sale of slaves, not the institution of slavery) in
the District of Columbia.
3. The Territory of New Mexico (including presentday Arizona) and the Territory of
Utah were organized under the rule of popular sovereignty. It passed 9785.
4. The Fugitive Slave Act was passed, requiring all U.S. citizens to assist in the
return of runaway slaves. It passed 10976.
Here's a taster:
HOW NORTHERNERS WORKED TO UNDERMIME THE FUGATIVE SLAVE
*Many vigilance committees sprung up in Northern communities to help endangered
blacks escape to Canada
* During the 1850s nine Northern states passed new personal liberty laws, by doing so
forbidding the use of state jails to imprison alleged fugitives, these laws were intended
to make it difficult to enforce federal law.
c) HOW THE SOUTH VIEWED THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE NORTH
* The south regarded the Fugative Slave act as a test of Northern goodwill.…read more