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A discussion on the issue of slavery in the united states

With the Louisiana Purchase, the question of slavery became both geographical and political, and ushered in a period of national debate between pro- and anti-slavery states to gain political and economic advantage.

But by 1820, Congress was embroiled in the debate over how to divide the newly acquired territories into slave and free states. The Missouri Compromise—also referred to as the Compromise of 1820—was an agreement between the pro- and anti-slavery factions regulating slavery in the western territories.

It prohibited slavery in new states north of the border of the Arkansas territory, excluding Missouri. Constitutionally, the Compromise of 1820 established a precedent for the exclusion of slavery from public territory acquired after the Constitution, and also recognized that Congress had no right to impose upon states seeking admission to the Union conditions that did not apply to those states already in the Union. After Missouri's admission to the Union in 1821, no other states were admitted until 1836 when Arkansas became a slave state, followed by Michigan in 1837 as a free state.

Indeed, the debate over slave and free states remained relatively calm for almost 30 years. However by the late 1840s, several events occurred that upset the balance: At the same time, Texas laid claim to territory extending all the way to Santa Fe.

  • After Congress outlawed the international slave trade in 1808, the only way planters could get new slaves was to buy them on the domestic market, and the push west meant thousands of slaves were sold and relocated—and often torn away from their families;
  • In 1783 the British Quakers established the antislavery committee that played a huge role in abolition;
  • Cotton was by no means a new crop:

Of course Washington, D. In January 1850, Henry Clay presented a bill that would become known as the Compromise of 1850. The territories of New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah were defined while leaving the question of slavery off the table, on the understanding that the issue would be decided when the territories applied for statehood.

It was agreed that California would be admitted as a free state, but the Fugitive Slave Act was passed to mollify pro-slavery states.

Slavery In America

This bill was the most controversial of all the bills that made up the Compromise of 1850. According to its tenets, citizens were required to aid in the recovery of fugitive slaves. Fugitives had no right to a jury trial.

In addition, the act called for changes that made the process for filing a claim against a fugitive easier for slave owners. The new law was devastating. Many former slaves who had been attempting to build lives in the North left their homes and fled to Canada, which added approximately 20,000 blacks to its population over the following decade. Many were captured and returned to slavery, however, including Anthony Burns, a fugitive living in Boston.

  1. With the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 along with the growing demand for the product in Europe, the use of slaves in the South became a foundation of their economy.
  2. At the peak in the early 19th century, Louisiana planters got yields from 16 to 20 tons of cane per acre and harvested 300,000 tons of sugar per year, helping support half a million people. Not only were European markets essential; precedents in the Caribbean colonies influenced its development.
  3. Not only were European markets essential; precedents in the Caribbean colonies influenced its development.
  4. The number of mills within a 30-mile radius of Providence, R. They were gifted, deeded and mortgaged the same way we sell houses today.

Even free blacks, too, were captured and sent to the South, completely defenseless with no legal rights. The compromise lasted until the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, when Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas proposed legislation allowing the issue of slavery to be decided in the new territories. In 1801, Congress extended Virginia and Maryland slavery laws to the District of Columbia, establishing a federally sanctioned slave code.

It also re-ignited controversy over the spread of slavery in the territory. In 1807, Congress banned the importation of slaves into the U. Once the transatlantic slave trade was prohibited, domestic slave trading throughout the South increased. The 1820 census added free colored persons to its racial categories.