South: American Civil War and Fugitive Slave Law Essay

Submitted By crkeal
Words: 761
Pages: 4

In the United States today human slavery is regarded not simply as wrong but as utterly indefensible and an affront to humanity. This powerful consensus makes it hard to appreciate the significance of taking an antislavery stance in the 18th century. It was not easy to come to abolitionist principles. 18th- and early-19th-century abolitionists had to wrench themselves free of institutions and attitudes that had been accepted for centuries. The Bible, viewed by many as a compendium of social as well as religious truth, did not condemn slavery.Texas caused controversy from the day it declared independence from Mexico in 1836. Southerners badly wanted Texas to become a new slave state in the Union, for they believed that westward expansion of slavery was vital to their socioeconomic system. Northern Whigs, however, didn’t want slavery to spread any further than it already had, so they blocked the annexation of Texas in 1836.
This debate over slavery was the most divisive issue of my era. While southerners spoke loudly in support of slavery, the abolitionist movement grew from a small faction in the 1820s to a powerful social and political movement by the 1840s and 1850s. Though the abolitionists opposed slavery, they by no means advocated racial equality—most of them wanted only gradual emancipation or even resettlement of blacks in Africa. I was ready for slavery to all be over and done with.
With tensions heating up between the south and the north here comes along the Compromise of 1850. There were five components to this Compromise of 1850. First, California would be admitted as a free state. Second, popular sovereignty would determine the fate of the other western territories. Third, Congress would cancel some of Texas’s debts and, in exchange; give some of Texas’s western land to New Mexico Territory. Fourth, slave trading would be banned in Washington, D.C. Finally, Congress would pass a tougher Fugitive Slave Law, to reduce the number of slaves who escaped to the North and Canada every year. Although Southerners had not conceded a lot in making the bargain, Northerners were still offended by the new law, and many refused to obey it. I didn’t like the law either yet my fellow southerners were all for slavery but a minus was most of our state would be taken away for unpaid debt. The Compromise of 1850 did not lead to the Civil War. It actually postponed it of happening. In short, they all passed and the Union stayed together long enough for the North to get many of the advantages it had during the Civil War. Many people will actually say that this compromise lead to the north achieving victory in the Civil War. This would be the only reason I could agree with the compromise. The reason that would have sparked me to go to war immediately was the part in the Compromise that was the Fugitive