The Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850
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Storyboard Description

A Compromise. in 1850.

Storyboard Text

  • In late 1849, California sought admittance into the Union as a free state.
  • The ratio of slave to free states at the time was even - 15:15. No territory applied for statehood at the same time as California, however, so imbalance became inevitable.
  • Free States
  • Slave States
  • Sectionalist controversy raged. Northerners campaigned to outlaw slavery in all Western territories, inspiring talk of secession in the South.
  • Heated Controversy
  • Southern Retaliation
  • Northern "Aggression"
  • To prevent further escalation of the North-South conflict, moderates and unionists, headed by Henry Clay, framed the Compromise of 1850.
  • The Compromise of 1850 admitted California as a free state, banned the slave trade in Washing D.C., and lent Mexican-ceded territories popular sovereignty - territories' residents could vote to determine their slavery policy.
  • The Compromise of 1850 also established a new Fugitive Slave Law, which was meant to appease the pro-slavery South. All Americans were required by law to cooperate in returning runaway slaves to their masters. The Law also gave rise to kidnappings of free blacks.
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