Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during theMexican-American War (1846–1848). The compromise, drafted by Whig Henry Clayand brokered by Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas, avoided secession or civil war and reduced sectional conflict for four years.
The Compromise was greeted with relief, although each side disliked specific provisions. Texas surrendered its claim to New Mexico but received debt relief and the Texas Panhandle, and retained the control over El Paso that it had established earlier in 1850. California was permitted to be admitted to the Union as a free state, instead of being split at the Missouri Compromise Line or parallel 35° north. In addition, the South avoided the Wilmot Proviso. As compensation, the South received the possibility of slave states, an issue to be determined by popular sovereignty in the new New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory (these lands were generally unsuited to plantation agriculture and were populated by non-Southerners); a stronger Fugitive Slave Act, the enforcement of which outraged Northern public opinion; and preservation of slavery in the national capital, although the slave trade was banned there except in the portion of the District of Columbia that rejoined Virginia.
The Compromise became possible after the sudden death of President Zachary Taylor, who, although a slaveowner, had favored excluding slavery from the Southwest. Whig leader Henry Clay designed a compromise, which failed to pass in early 1850. Upon Clay's instruction, Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas (Illinois) then divided Clay's bill into several smaller pieces and narrowly won their passage over the opposition of those with stronger views on both sides, including SenatorJohn C. Calhoun of South Carolina.
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.