How did the Compromise of 1850 lead to the Civil War?
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Q:

How did the Compromise of 1850 lead to the Civil War?

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Quick Answer

The Compromise of 1850 set up an untenable status quo between the northern and southern regions of the United States in terms of slavery policy. The U.S. Congress intended to achieve a sustainable solution for the conflict over slavery policy. However, the Compromise of 1850 merely delayed the inevitable schism between rivalling regions of the nation.

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Full Answer

Organized and championed by Henry Clay, the Compromise of 1850 was a series of laws and policy enactments that formed a comprehensive new national policy toward issues of slavery and westward expansion. At the core of this debate was the question of whether or not frontier territories should join the Union as new slave states. Southern states preferred an expansion of slavery into new territories, whereas northern states argued in favor of abolishing slavery in any new states. The Compromise of 1850 determined that new states would be slave-free, and the slave trade was also abolished in Washington, D.C.

In exchange for these concessions, southern states received an amendment to the Fugitive Slave Act, which forced northern states to take more aggressive measures to return escaped slaves into the southern states from which they departed. This was wildly unpopular in the North, and many northerners refused to abide by these policies, assisting escaped slaves through the Underground Railroad to Canada. As a result, tensions continued to escalate after the Compromise of 1850 failed to settle the slavery matter, and the Civil War became increasingly inevitable in the following decade.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What was the cause and effect of the Compromise of 1850?

    A:

    The cause of the Compromise of 1850 was the issue of slavery. The results include admission of California as a free state, the end of slavery in Washington, D.C, creation of New Mexico and Utah territories and the ability of southerners to reclaim their slaves.

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  • Q:

    What were some facts about the Compromise of 1850?

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    The Compromise of 1850 included many provisions that were not found in the original 1820 Missouri Compromise, which was the original attempt at keeping sectional balance and maintaining peace and union. The original proposal was presented by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay. The purpose of the Compromise of 1850 was to avoid disunion and war by achieving political balance between the north and south and abolitionists and supporters of slavery.

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  • Q:

    What led to the Compromise of 1850?

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    The political conflict that led to the Compromise of 1850 was largely instigated by the acquisition of territories from Mexico following the Mexican-American War. The events and actions that made the compromise possible included the death of President Zachary Taylor and the political shrewdness of Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas.

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  • Q:

    Who was the president during the Civil War?

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    Abraham Lincoln was president of the United States during the Civil War, but as The Library of Congress points out, some Southerners considered Jefferson Davis their president. The Civil War lasted from 1861 to 1865.

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