Compromise of 1850
By Caroline Dingwall
5th Period AP US History
To become a part of the United States, Texas
had to give up New Mexico, but it gained the
Texas Panhandle and El Paso. In addition the
United States federal government paid off
In the South, they relinquished the claim to
Southern California; however, the possibility
of new slave states existed in the New Mexico
and the Utah Territory (Popular Sovereignty).
Bounded in 1850 on the east by the Territory
of New Mexico and the Territory of Utah, and
on the Territory of Oregon, lies California.
The proposal was to make California a free
state and this angered the South.
The general idea was that slavery was permitted in the Bible. Abolitionists who
felt that all people were created equally and that slaves were people represented
the other side of the issue. Some slave owners made their slaves go to church to
hear the minister preach to the slaves about being good slaves. Also, some of the
slave owners made their slaves follow Christian practices of marriage so the
slaves would have children and make more slaves for the slave owners.
A : settlement of differences by
arbitration or by consent reached by
mutual concessions B : something
intermediate between or blending
qualities of two different things
Books were written, such as Harriet
Beecher Stowe’s book Uncle Tom's
Cabin, to show the harm of slavery.
Other books and speeches were
written supporting slavery as a
Fugitive Slave Act
The three main issues making the
Compromise of 1850 were:
•States and territory boundary issues
•Status of territory issues (slave or free
•Issue of slavery itself
The Northerners were outraged
because slavery was preserved as an
•Allowed in Washington DC (the
Texas was able to get rid of a huge debt but it lost New Mexico. California was
busy and wealthy due to the Gold Rush. Because slavery continued, slave
capturing become a new occupation and a responsibility. A white person could
be fined $1000 for not being involved in capturing slaves; in addition, if a white
person aided slaves, he or she would be jailed for 6 month and fined $1000.
Slave trade was allowed around the city of Washington, but not in Washington.
The two races, especially in the
south, were separated by law, by
income, by color, and by civil rights.
If a disagreement arose between a
black and a white citizen, the white
citizen was always right and won.
These four men were most important in the decision making
process that eventually led to the Compromise of 1850.
Respected figure of the North and
South, Henry Clay had been in
Congress for 30 years. He helped set
the standards for the Compromise of
1850, but failed to pass an earlier
compromise in early 1850.
Democratic Senator Stephen
Douglas led the forces of
compromise after Clay left
Washington. He built a majority by
compromising his thoughts with
others, which eventually led to the
compromise being passed.
Webster replied to Calhoun’s speech
in what was called, “the 7th of
March” speech. He said he “wanted
to speak as an American, not as a
Northern man or a Massachusetts
man.” This helped promote the idea
of the compromise.
Last speech during the debate of the
Compromise of 1850. Someone else
delivered his speech because he was
too ill to deliver it himself.
“If you remain silent, you will
compel us to infer by your acts
what you intend. In that case
California will become the test
The Compromise eventually passed, but it did not flow by everyone easily.
While it helped the country in a short term, it also reignited the battle over
slavery. When Texas was admitted as a slave state, the threats of cession
and Civil War were constantly in the water. Many people viewed the
compromise as a law that had just postponed the crises, “either you pay
me now, or you pay me later,” (Sunoco advertisement).
The whole united states were effected by this Compromise, the North, South, East, and
West. Some states believed they benefited from this compromise, and some felt it hindered
their ability to control their own destinies.
This Compromise was a mixture of many years of hard work in trying to work
around slavery, but not deal with it. The majority of the work was in 1850 and it
passed after the debate Calhoun v. Webster debate in the Senate.
“The question, then, was whether slavery should be allowed in
the new territories. Both pro-slavery and anti-slavery advocates
argued over the issue, yet neither side was strong enough to
administer a plan of action.”- Mr. Nussbaum
Many Senators debated over exactly what would be the best policy for the United
States. To get everything passed the Compromise was split into five separate parts:
1. First law- organize the Territory of New Mexico
2. Second law- organize the Territory of Utah
3. Third law- admit California to the Union as the 31st State
4. Fourth statue- Fugitive Slave Law or the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
5. Fifth law- prohibit the slave trade in the District of Columbia (but not slavery
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