Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Compromise of 1850

As we have discussed, slavery was kind of a big deal. The North saw it as an evil institution, while the South saw it as a necessary one. In 1850 there were 15 free states and 15 slave states, but adding California to the union would upset the balance.

So, what should be done? Should California be let in as a free state? What about the balance of power? They decided to settle the disputing with a bare knuckle boxing match...

No, no, no, actually, they chose to do another compromise.

The Compromise of 1850 consisted of the following terms:

California would enter the Union as a free state (Yay for free states!), the residents in the organized territory in New Mexico would decide if they would allow slavery or not, Utah would be set up the same way. This could be a big yay or a big boo to the free states.

The Fugitive Slave Act was passed. This put really harsh punishment on people who helped escaped slaves or refused to help capture them. And finally, the slave trade in Washington D.C. was banned, it sort of looked bad when the Capital of the country was used for selling off slaves...

So now that this compromise was settled, everything went smoothly until the end of time.

But really, it didn't...this was just the beginning...

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