The Compromise of 1850 - Part 2 - American Civil War Essay Example
The Compromise of 1850 is one of the most important compromises in this history of the United States, maybe even the world - The Compromise of 1850 introduction. The Compromise of 1850 is made up of five bills passed in the United States of America in September 1850, and it terminated a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the south and the free states of the north concerning the position of territories gained during the time of the Mexican-American war which was in 1846-1848. The most important political ramification in the Compromise has to be the Fugitive Slave Act for numerous reasons.
Many historians have argued that the Fugitive Slave Act was very obliging to the abolitionist cause, even though some of the abolitionists did not like its’ provisions. The Fugitive Slave Act was not beneficial to the slaves and it did not help the slaves escape to freedom. The subject matter of fugitive slaves in an intellect became one of the single main influential armaments in the hands of the Abolitionist Movement. The Constitution has an article that says that fugitives from industry must be sent back to the South if they were caught in the North. Also, this gave slavery what people like to call more territory.
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That meant that it made slavery a global organization. Although the northern states did have the ability to abolish slavery, they could not pass up their own Constitutional priority to enforce the slave laws that were in the southern states. Some fugitives even carried with them the officially authorized status of slavery, even in a territory that didn’t have any slavery at all. In reality, most of the states did not do much about this. That is the reason the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was enacted, which made the federal government responsible for tracking down and apprehending fugitive slaves in the North, and sending them back to the South.
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, one might say, was the most powerful exercise of federal authority within the United States in the whole era before the Civil War. The Fugitive Slave Act also had a great amount of features that seemed to terminate some liberties of free Caucasian northerners. The Fugitive Slave Act permitted the federal government to represent citizens, even if that meant against their will, and make them to take part in posses and any other groups to grab a hold of fugitive slaves. Also, it said that limited courts couldn’t give a ruling whether somebody was a slave or not.
Federal commissioners would be likely to come in and see and hear the testimony. Also, the slaves were not permitted to testify either. The person who testified was the owner, or the so-called owner, of the suspected fugitive. Then, the commissioner would arbitrate whether the owner of the suspected fugitive’s testimony was actually believable or not, and after that they would send the person back to slavery. The Fugitive Slave Act was a very powerful tool. It was mostly used to gather a great amount of slaves, escaped slaves, or even people who weren’t even considered slaves at all, who were born free and ship them back to the South.
The Fugitive Slave Act wasn’t a success due to an effort to keep the Union together. Rather, they focused on differences on the issue of slavery. The act also brought up some very important problems about what it means to trace the direction of law and go after fairness beneath a Constitution that both advertised freedom and permitted slavery. The acts exasperated Northern sensibilities that had turned aligned with slavery. Both, Northern social and legal reaction next to the acts were intimidating and abusive to Southerners.
Southerners felt that a few abolitionists in the North, yet some Northern legislatures heartening slaves to rebel, an option that a great amount of Southerners really feared. The Fugitive Slave Act arranged commissioners to go after slaves who had to flee into Free States to capture them and return them to their masters. Because a great amount of Free States disliked being obligated to assist with a scheme they wanted to border and ultimately abolish, they enacted laws intended to limit the efficiency of the commissioners and a great amount of officials declined to assist even though mandated by law to do so.
It brought up the stage of public opinion in the North that felt it could not coexist, both half slave and half free. Previous to 1850, if runaway slaves were captured, they were normally killed, and sometimes even tormented in an open exhibit to fright other slaves. Chastisement in the North for Caucasian citizens and free African-Americans who helped during escapes were formally not as cruel normally a fine for the loss of property and a petite prison sentence that might not be enforced. In 1850, consequences became much steeper and incorporated more jail time.
Whites, who fortified slaves, which was frequently mandatory along the hazardous direction, could be executed. Back in the South, anybody whether white or black who helped a fugitive, could face fatality. Northern response in opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act was physically powerful and a great amount of states enacted laws that invalidated its’ effect, making it valueless. On top of that, slave gatherers could officially maintain that any African-American citizen they saw was a runaway slave, which not only threatened free African-Americans but infuriated many white citizens.
Northerners were shocked by reports of slave gatherers luring young free African-American kids onto boats and departing them to the Deep South. In cases where the rule was put into effect, intimidation or acts of horde aggression often required the send out of federal troops. Citizens convicted of infringing the act were frequently and seriously fined, locked up, or both. The rejection of northern states to put into effect the Fugitive Slave Act was suspected by South Carolina as one cause for its secession from the Union earlier to the start of the Civil War.
Any citizen aiding an escapee slave by providing protection, food or any other form of support was legally responsible to six months’ custody and a $500 fine, ¬ a pricey consequence in those days. Those officers catching a fugitive slave were permitted to a fee and this encouraged some officers to take hostage free Negroes and wholesale them to slave-owners. If a runaway slave was seen, he or she ought to be detained and turned in to the authorities for banishment back to the rightful possessor down south. It was considered that the Fugitive Slave Act would reduce the incentive for slaves to try to flee.
The underlying principle behind this was the slaves’ comprehension that even if they managed to run away from their cultivated area, they could still be captured and brought back by any citizen in the United States of America. Also, the Fugitive Slave Act led to the Civil War. Northerners, who may have been reluctant to go to war over the slavery in the South, were located in a tricky condition by the obligation that they capture African-Americans who had ran from burden and return them to their previous slave-holders.
This put Northerners frankly in conspiracy with slavery, and they couldn’t exist with that. In conclusion, the Fugitive Slave Act was not a success at all. Sure it had great intentions, but it just did not work out. This was one of the most contentious acts of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern worries of a slave power scheme. It confirmed that all fugitive slaves were; upon detain, to be returned to their owners. Abolitionists called it the Bloodhound Law for the dogs that were frequently utilized to track down fugitive slaves.