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The Civil War

The Civil War

 Table of Contents

The Civil War Terms

Compromise Of 1850

A negotiated settlement devised by Senator Henry Clay to defuse tensions building between proslavery and antislavery political leaders. It included the admission of California into the Union as a free state, a strengthened fugitive slave law, and a motion to delay the determination of the slave status of the New Mexico and Utah territories.

Fugitive Slave Act Of 1850, Fugitive Slave Act

A strengthened version of a law originally passed in 1793, this act was passed as part of the Compromise of 1850. It gave the federal government authority, and in many ways forced federal agents, to capture escaped slaves and prosecute anyone aiding runaways. The Act was profoundly controversial in the North and aroused resentment among those who believed it solidified the political power of southern slaveholders.

Missouri Compromise

Kentucky Senator Henry Clay proposed this deal in 1820 to resolve disputes between proslavery and antislavery advocates in Congress. It granted admission to Missouri as a slave state, but to offset this, Maine entered the Union as a free state, and slavery was prohibited in all territory north of the southern border of Missouri. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, in practice, repealed this compromise.

Republican Party, Republicans

A political party created in 1854 by anti-slavery Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers, and Know-Nothings in response to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Forgive us. We're still giggling about "Free Soilers."

A political party founded in 1854 by antislavery Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers, and Know-Nothings in response to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

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