Exploros_logo

The Compromise of 1850

California was admitted to the Union as the 16th free state. In exchange, the south was guaranteed that no federal restrictions on slavery would be placed on Utah or New Mexico. Texas lost its boundary claims in New Mexico, but Congress compensated Texas with $10 million. Slavery was maintained in the nation's capital, but the slave trade was forbidden. Finally, and most controversially, a Fugitive Slave Law was passed, requiring northerners to return runaway slaves to their owners.

The North gets

  • California admitted as a free state
  • Slave trade prohibited in Washington D.C.
  • Texas loses boundary dispute with New Mexico

The South gets

  • No slavery restrictions in Utah or New Mexico territories
  • Slaveholding permitted in Washington D.C.
  • $10 million for Texas
  • Fugitive Slave Law

Although each side won something, the north seemed to gain the most. The Senate now favored the free states, although California often voted with the south on many issues in the 1850s. The major victory for the south was the Fugitive Slave Law. In the end, the north refused to enforce it. Massachusetts even called for its cancelation. Northerners claimed the law was unfair.


Source: The Compromise of 1850
Copyright ©2008-2019 ushistory.org, owned by the Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia, founded 1942.

Back to top