The Issue of Slavery in the New Colonies Essay example

Decent Essays
Before the South seceded from the union, from 1850-1861, the issue of slavery in the new territories and in the Union was debated between the North and the South, they had turned to the Constitution for answers, but because it was written to be vague that it did not provide much help other than fueling the debate further. Slavery wasn’t directly mentioned in the constitution, which made it very difficult to determine the Constitutions stand on slavery. In the territories that the Union that acquired, whether slavery would exist or not was another issue of debate, since the expansion of slavery was once again not covered in the Constitution either. In some territories like Kansas popular sovereignty was used to determine if it would be…show more content…
(Doc. A) Popular Sovereignty means that they took a vote on the issue and depending on what the majority wanted it would be free or pro-slavery. “Bleeding Kansas” occurred in the mid-1850s, Kansas had decided to use popular sovereignty to decide whether they would have slavery. However, on the day of the vote a swarm of Southerners came into the state and bombarded the polls, Kansas had become a slave state. The Free-Soilers in the state were outraged and even started their own mini-government in Kansas, which was anti-slavery. The North, particularly the Free-soilers had felt that the South was trying to force slavery on the territories. (Doc. F) In 1850 the Compromise of 1850 was passed and it gave Popular Sovereignty to the Utah and New Mexico Territories. (Doc. A) Alongside the Compromise of 1850 the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was passed as well, it was a harsher version of the previous Fugitive Slave Law. It had made it harder for escaped slaves who had fled to the North to remain free. It had even offered a higher payment for the magistrate who had found a Black person to be a fugitive salve instead of a free Black, ten dollars instead of five. There were even posters up in northern cities like Boston warning African Americans to stay away from watchmen and police officers, because they might be arrested for being an alleged fugitive slave. (Doc. C)
Get Access