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The Lure of the West. 10.1. Free Labor Vs. Slave Labor. Westward expansion revived the issue of slavery’s expansion With the exception of a small group of abolitionists most whites held thoroughly ingrained racists beliefs that people of African descent were not their equals

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The Lure of the West


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    1. The Lure of the West 10.1

    2. Free Labor Vs. Slave Labor • Westward expansion revived the issue of slavery’s expansion • With the exception of a small group of abolitionists most whites held thoroughly ingrained racists beliefs that people of African descent were not their equals • However, those same people disagreed whether or not slavery should expand to the west

    3. Free vs. Slave labor • Most whites that believed slavery should not expand did so because they feared the competition of slave labor with their own opportunities in the west • They supported free labor- free men and women working to earn a living, rather than slave labor • If slavery spread west it would restrict or even destroy opportunities for poor whites to work there

    4. Free vs. Slave Labor • The Wilmot Proviso was a proposed law that attempted to prohibit slavery in the new lands acquired from Mexico in the Mexican-American War (1846) • The Free-Soil Party was formed that opposed slavery’s expansion on the basis that black people would were unworthy to settle in these new lands • They were hostile to African Americans, yet did oppose slavery’s growth and had abolitionist members among them

    5. California and the Compromise of 1850 • Gold was discovered in California in 1849 which sent thousands of Forty-Niners west to seek wealth • The gold rush attracted African Americans, Asians and Europeans to California this dramatically increased the population there and led to its’ consideration for statehood • California became admitted as a free state but, as a compromise a stronger fugitive slave code was added to federal law

    6. Assignment • 1. What did “free labor” mean to Americans in the 19th century? • 2. Why was the expansion of slavery such a divisive issue? • 3. Why would white southerners oppose the Wilmot Proviso? • 4. What was the Free Soil Party? Why did some abolitionists support this group? • 5. What compromise was reached over the admittance of California to the Union?