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  • California was applying admitted to Union as a free state in 1849, and this upset the balance of power between the North and the South. As a result the Southern Democrats advocated for a compromise to restore the balance of power
  • The tensions were complicated by the unresolved question of slavery’s extension into other areas ceded by Mexico the preceding year,  as the south argued that the addition of California would upset the balance in slave vs free states and therefore, they would have to compensate for that, which led to the compromise. 
  • Tensions between the North and South, regarding the newly annexed territories in the west, were medicated when they came to a compromise that gave the south a federal assurance that the government would not restrict slavery in Utah or New Mexico. California was admitted as a free state, and the slave trade in the capital was put at a halt.
  • The Compromise of 1850 allowed for there to be more balance between the north and the south and compensate the south as a result of adding California as a free state. It created agreement and lessened tensions for some time, however eventually it was not enough to prevent further conflict as other factors would come into play that this compromise didn't resolve.
  • Additionally, another clause in the compromise was an improved Fugitive Slave law that allowed the South to more adequately capture escaped slaves in the north due to it stating that the federal government had to assist slave owners in returning fugitive slaves.
  • As a result of the improved Fugitive Slave law, there was increasing Northern opposition and defiance to it, with mobs forming in some northern cities to prevent enforcement of the law, and several northern states passed their own laws barring the deportation of fugitive slaves.
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