Counterintuitive to the South, the North’s view of slavery was that the Constitution did not state that it was allowed. They interpreted the Constitution as a reason to ban slavery because the practice was not fair and should be banned. North abolitionists believed that slavery was being forced into existence by the South. A cartoon titled “Forcing Slavery Down The Throat Of A Free Soiler” depicts the feelings of how slavery is being forced into the lives of other people and in politics (Document F). The idea of popular sovereignty was favored by abolitionists because it gave citizens the right to vote a state free of slavery (although about 10% of people shared this view). The vagueness of the Constitution caused the North to believe that the document actually stands to ban slavery which was different than the South’s belief that it protected the practice.
The Compromise of 1850 caused many problems that the Constitution could not fix. In order to deal with the sectionalist balance of Free States to Slave States in Utah and New Mexico, popular sovereignty was agreed upon in the compromise (Document A). The main reason was the Fugitive Slave Act which stated that federal magistrates could return slaves whether or not they were free. It was, for the most part, a law in favor of the South and gave them power over slavery. However, Northerners did not approve of the act because it denied a slave a fair right to a jury trial and testify; as well as a high fine and prison time for those who helped slaves. The act went against human rights, was immoral and that it was a Constitutional injustice