What was the importance of the Compromise of 1850?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

By 1850, there was intense controversy concerning the issue of slavery in the American government and among its citizens. This would eventually erupt in the secession of the southern states and the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. The Compromise of 1850 managed to forestall the war for 11 years.

As the United States continued to add new territories, disagreements arose about whether the new states and territories should be slave states or free states. The Compromise of 1850 came about through the acquisition of the territory between Texas and California from Mexico after the Mexican-American War.

This compromise came about through several key players. Henry Clay, a senator from Kentucky, introduced legislation concerning the territory, which was known as the Mexican Cession. Through his efforts, he became renowned as "the great compromiser." Daniel Webster of Massachusetts backed Clay's compromise. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina demanded that the North stop limiting slavery, while...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1088 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team