外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 英语文化视窗 > 历史与人物 > 历史 正文
  • 站内搜索:

The Compromise of 1850

2006-02-27 00:00

  Until 1845, it had seemed likely that slavery would be confined to the areas where it already existed. It had been given limits by the Missouri Compromise in 1820 and had no opportunity to overstep them. The new territories made renewed expansion of slavery a real likelihood.

  Many Northerners believed that if not allowed to spread, slavery would ultimately decline and die. To justify their opposition to adding new slave states, they pointed to the statements of Washington and Jefferson, and to the Ordinance of 1787, which forbade the extension of slavery into the Northwest. Texas, which already permitted slavery, naturally entered the Union as a slave state. But California, New Mexico and Utah did not have slavery, and when the United States prepared to take over these areas in 1846, there were conflicting suggestions on what to do with them.

  Extremists in the South urged that all the lands acquired from Mexico be thrown open to slave holders. Antislavery Northerners, on the other hand, demanded that all the new regions be closed to slavery. One group of moderates suggested that the Missouri Compromise line be extended to the Pacific with free states north of it and slave states to the south. Another group proposed that the question be left to "popular sovereignty," that is, the government should permit settlers to enter the new territory with or without slaves as they pleased and, when the time came to organize the region into states, the people themselves should determine the question.

  Southern opinion held that all the territories had the right to sanction slavery. The North asserted that no territories had the right. In 1848 nearly 300,000 men voted for the candidates of a Free Soil Party, who declared that the best policy was "to limit, localize and discourage slavery." The Midwestern and border state regions —— Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri —— were even more divided, however, with many favoring popular sovereignty as a compromise.

  In January 1848 the discovery of gold in California precipitated a headlong rush of more than 80,000 settlers for the single year 1849. California became a crucial question, for clearly Congress had to determine the status of this new region before an organized government could be established. The hopes of the nation rested with Senator Henry Clay, who twice before in times of crisis had come forward with compromise arrangements. Now once again he halted a dangerous sectional quarrel with a complicated and carefully balanced plan.

  His compromise (as subsequently modified in Congress) contained a number of key provisions: that California be admitted as a state with a free-soil (slavery-prohibited) constitution; that the remainder of the new annexation be divided into the two territories of New Mexico and Utah and organized without mention of slavery; that the claims of Texas to a portion of New Mexico be satisfied by a payment of $10 million; that more effective machinery be established for catching runaway slaves and returning them to their masters; and that the buying and selling of slaves (but not slavery) be abolished in the District of Columbia. These measures —— known in American history as the Compromise of 1850 —— were passed, and the country breathed a sigh of relief.

  For three years, the compromise seemed to settle nearly all differences. Beneath the surface, however, tension grew. The new Fugitive Slave Law deeply offended many Northerners, who refused to have any part in catching slaves. Moreover, many Northerners continued to help fugitives escape, and made the Underground Railroad more efficient and more daring than it had been before.

相关热词:英语 历史 美国
栏目相关课程表
科目名称 主讲老师 课时 免费试听 优惠价 购买课程
英语零起点 郭俊霞 30课时 试听 150元/门 购买
综艺乐园 ------ 13课时 试听 100元/门 购买
边玩边学 ------ 10课时 试听 60元/门 购买
情景喜剧 ------ 15课时 试听 100元/门 购买
欢乐课堂 ------ 35课时 试听 150元/门 购买
基础英语辅导课程
郭俊霞 北京语言大学毕业,专业英语八级,国内某知名中学英语教研组组长,教学标兵……详情>>
郭俊霞:零基础英语网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371