Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law

Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Law

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  • We will give you Texas, New Mexico, and California in exchange for $15 million.
  • But then we would lose the balance of free and slave states!
  • Can California join the Union?
  • Maybe we can create a compromise that will satisfy both the North and the South.
  • Have you heard? California is now a free state!
  • It's all because of the Compromise of 1850!
  • The Mexican-American War ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Through this treaty, the US gained most of its current southwestern territory. This set off a major debate over whether slavery would be allowed in the new lands.
  • Hey! You can't sell slaves here! It's illegal in DC.
  • In 1850, there were 15 slave states and 15 free states. However, California was hoping to join the Union as a free state, which would upset the balance. However, Henry Clay devised a compromise in order to satisfy both the North and the South, called the Compromise of 1850.
  • Why are you taking them? This is the North; it's free territory!
  • This man was a slave, and this man helped him escape! It's part of the new Fugitive Slave Law!
  • The Compromise admitted California to the Union as a free state.
  • All territory gained from Mexico gets to decide whether it will be free or slave.
  • They're in the south, so they'll probably be slave states anyways.
  • It also abolished the slave trade (but not slavery itself) in the District of Columbia.
  • It introduced a new and more effective Fugitive Slave Law. It made it so that all northerners would have to assist in the capture of runaway slaves and made it much more difficult for slaves to escape. The law also led to the capture of many free blacks who were then forced into slavery. Most northerners despised the law and many defied it.
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