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The new act of 1850 stated that law enforcement officials who didn't arrest escaped slaves could be fined $1,000, which is roughly equivalent to $28,000 dollars today. As a positive incentive, officers would get a promotion or extra money if they captured slaves. No other evidence was needed apart from a sworn testimony of ownership. Finally, anyone who aided an escaped slave instead of turning them in could get six months of jail time on top of the $1,000 fine. This led to not only a rise in the number of escaped slaves being sent back to the South, but also to a number of free blacks being turned into slaves because they couldn't testify to being free and were sent back to the South under false charges.
Until the Compromise of 1850, several attempts had been made to calm the conflict arising between the Northern and Southern states, but they were usually stopped in the Senate even if they passed in the House. Southerners were annoyed at any of the bills they perceived to help the Northern states and the Northerners were upset with the pro-slavery agenda served by the other bills. No one was entirely satisfied, but it temporarily postponed the inevitable civil war.
The Compromise of 1850 was viewed with some dismay by both the Northern and Southern states. The reason the Compromise was able to buy at least another decade of tense peace is because while neither group was entirely happy with it, both sides felt they had gained a couple victories. The Compromise consisted of five bills:
1. Texas surrendered claims to its territory above the Missouri compromise line (the line dividing slave states and free states) which then fell under the federal government's power.
2. California was admitted as a free state.
3. Rather than be forced to adopt the Wilmot Proviso, which was a law that banned slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico, New Mexico and Utah territories were allowed to decide to become slave states as long as a majority vote made it so.
4. The Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened.
5. The slave trade (bot not slavery itself) was banned in Washington D.C.
The seconde bill was a win for the North, as Southerners were hoping that the part of it that dipped below the Missouri Compromise line would belong to the South. Although the surrender of these territories was already a condition set by the federal government when Texas became a state in 1845, the Compromise solidified this territorial claim and made sure the slave state of Texas would hold no power over Northern states. The ban on the slave trade in Washington D.C. was a final sign of progress for the North, though the fact that slavery itself was still allowed did little to please the staunchest of anti-slavery supporters.
The fourth bill meant that the small parts of the territories above the Missouri Compromise line that were designated as free became up for debate once again. This gave Southerners hope that there could one day be a Southern foothold in the upper states. The biggest victory for the South, however, was the fifth bill, which all but forced people in the free states to return runaway slaves to their owners. Before this revision of the act, the free states had weakened the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 with such things as "personal liberty laws," and some Supereme Court rulings, the former giving escaped slaves the right to a jury and the latter ruling that states didn't have to aid in the capture of runaway.
They were not very satisfied at all, but there was a period of peace as the dissatisfaction was mutual, which meant there were still some stuff they were satisfied with.
Texas went under the federal government
Slave trade was banned but slave ownership was not yet banned.
New Mexico and Utah were to decide on a vote as to the slave trade.
California now a free state.
The biggest win would be the second one for the Southerners as it was progress to the complete abolishing of slaves.
The compromise of 1850 was a series of 5 laws that dealt with slavery. It was not revoked because if they did pass it, it would start a war with the south and north. Even though it was aborted, the division was there and tensions grew over time, leading up to the notorious Civil War. The southerners were not happy at all with the compromise because slavery was the main reason for the economy. They received their money from crops, and slaves did their work for them for free, of course they would not want slavery to be abolished. Although it was the ethical thing to do, which led to division among the states and rooted the tensions that would cause the Civil War.
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