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Saving the Union. Chapter 15, Section 2. 1850 California asked to join the Union as a free state. Most of California lay north of the Missouri Compromise line. Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri supported California’s request

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Saving the union

Saving the Union

Chapter 15, Section 2




Seeking a compromise
Seeking a Compromise

  • For a time both free and slave states entered the Union peacefully

    • Michigan, Iowa, and Wisconsin entered as free states

    • Arkansas, Florida, and Texas entered as slave states

  • California upset the balance in the Senate


Seeking a compromise1
Seeking a Compromise Seeking

  • South did not want to give the North a majority in the Senate

    • Also feared that more free states would be carved out the huge Mexican cession

    • Some southerners talked about seceding from the Union


Clay pleads for compromise
Clay pleads for compromise Seeking

  • Clay had won the nickname “the great Compromiser” for working out the Missouri Compromise

    • 73 year old Clay pleaded for the north and South to reach an agreement

      • If not the nation could break apart


Calhoun replies
Calhoun replies Seeking

  • Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina prepared the South’s reply to Clay

    • Dying of tuberculosis, Calhoun had another Senator read his speech


Calhoun replies1
Calhoun replies Seeking

  • Insisted slavery be allowed in the Western territories

  • Demanded that fugitives, or un away slaves, be returned to their owners in the South

  • If the north does not agree to the South’s demands “let the states part in peace”

  • If you are unwilling to part in peace we shall know what to do


Webster calls for unity
Webster calls for Unity Seeking

  • Daniel Webster of Massachusetts spoke next

    • Clay’s rival for years

    • Now supported Clay’s plea to save the Union

    • Webster feared the states could not separate without a civil war

      • Civil war: a war between people of the same country


Webster calls for unity1
Webster calls for Unity Seeking

  • Webster viewed slavery as evil but disunion was worse

  • He would support the South’s demand that northerners return fugitive slaves


A compromise at last
A Compromise at Last Seeking

  • 1850 Calhoun and President Taylor died

  • Millard Filmore, the new president supported Clay’s compromise


A compromise at last1
A Compromise at Last Seeking

  • Clay became too sick to continue giving speeches in favor of a compromise

    • Stephen Douglas , a Senator from Illinois, took his place

  • Douglas guided Clay’s plan, the Compromise of 1850, through Congress


A compromise at last2
A Compromise at Last Seeking

  • Compromise of 1850

    • 1.California was allowed to enter the Union as a free state

    • 2. The rest of the Mexican cession was divided into the territories of New Mexico and Utah

      • In each territory voters would decide the slavery question according to popular sovereignty

    • 3. Slave traded ended in Washington D.C.

    • 4.A strict new fugitive slaw was passed


The fugitive slave law of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 Seeking

  • Required all citizens to help catch runaway slaves

    • People who helped fugitives escape could be fined $1,000 and jailed for six months


Fugitive slave law of 1850
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 Seeking

  • Set up special courts to handle the cases of runaway slaves

    • Judges received $10 for sending a runaway to the South

      • $5 for setting someone free

  • Some judges sent African Americans to the South whether or not they were runaways

  • Thousands of free African Americans fled to Canada


Fugitive slave law of 18501
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 Seeking

  • Enraged northerners

    • Made them fell they were part of the slave system

    • Convinced more northerners slavery was evil


An antislavery bestseller
An Antislavery Bestseller Seeking

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin

    • Written to show the evils of slavery and injustice of the fugitive Slave Law

      • Told the story of Uncle Tom, an enslaved African American his owner Simon Legree treats his slaves brutally and in the end whips Uncle Tom until he dies


An antislavery bestseller1
An Antislavery Bestseller Seeking

  • The book helped to change the way northerners felt about slavery

    • They now saw it as a moral problem


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