Compromise of 1850 & Fugitive Slave Law
By yashelkhan, Updated
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The Compromise of 1850 consisted of five laws that dealt with slavery. Before this, in 1849, California wanted to join the Union as a free state; however, this would throw off the balance of free and slave states. This was the first time were the U.S couldn't find a solution.
I, Henry Clay, here by introduce a series of laws and resolutions that will put effort to reaching a compromise on the intervention of California and prevent further conflict between the North and South. This series of resolutions shall be known as the Compromise of 1850.
In January 1850, Senator Henry Clay introduced the Compromise of 1850.
The compromise prevented further territorial expansion of slavery, while strengthening the Fugitive Slave Law.
As a result of the compromise, the Fugitive Slave Law was amended, slave trade was abolished in Washington D.C, and California was added to the Union as a free state.
The Fugitive Slave Law was that forced Northerners to seize and return escaped slaves to the South. The law stated that it is illegal to help a fugitive slave escape from their owner. It also gave runaway slaves no basic legal rights such as, the right to a jury trial and the right to testify in their own defense.
I don't want to have to send you back, but I have to; it's the law.
The law was very unpopular in the North due to the majority being against slavery; however, there were some who were undecided. The enforcement of the law led these undecided people to follow anti-slavery. The law was also a great hit to abolitionists
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