Sectional Crisis: The Compromise of 1850
This video details some of the background and information related to the compromise of 1850. This was part of the sectional crisis that preceeded the civil war. Zachary Taylor was elected president in 1848. Shortly after entering office, there was a great deal of pressure to determine whether or not slavery would be permitted in the newly received western territories. This was further magnified by the gold rush where people wanted to know if they were allowed to bring their slaves with them to these Western territories to help find gold. Taylor decided that all the Western territories would be free, which enraged the South. President Taylor died and left this problem to his vice-president Millard Fillmore. Henry Clay proposed the compromise of 1850 in order to help resolve this crisis and hopefully keep the country together. First, the compromise said California would be a free state and New Mexico could decide for itself if it would be a slave state or a free state. No more slave trading was allowed in Washing, D.C. Texas would receive $10 million for its loss of territory. Strong fugitive slave laws would be allowed. Fillmore signed this agreement, but there were almost immediate problems. The underground railroad was being used to circumvent the fugitive slave laws. It was a comprise with which no one was entirely pleased.
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Last updated: 01/08/2018
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