Compromise Of 1850: The Most Important Cause For Rising Tensions In The 1850s

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The most important cause for rising tensions in the 1850s would be the Compromise of 1850. Though it was labeled a compromise, it failed to dampen hostilities between pro- slavery and anti-slavery groups. It many cases it revealed that pro-slavery interests had more power in the government that it would appear from the number of slave states. One of the largest reasons that this issue was so divisive is that is failed to achieve either side expect result in regard to the Mexican cessation. Many years prior the Missouri compromise established a latitude line that would separate free and slave states. Many southerners expected that line to continue across the U.S. There were also drafts of legislation, which were never passed, attempting to …show more content…

In exchange for slavery in the territories, the Compromise included the Fugitive Slave Act which gave an official mandate to capture fugitive slaves fleeing to the north. Before this act, most in the north simply let the slaves walk free after reaching free territory, even though legally they should be returned. This mandate set up a series of commissioners to decide whether any suspected fugitives were free or run-aways. They also received twice the money for decided they were a slave then free. This easily corrupt system angered many northerners as free blacks in northern territories were being kidnapped and send back south. These failures at true compromise only fanned the flames of debate and primed the south for …show more content…

By that point, the two sides had polarized to the point of demonizing each other. We can see that there was already violence happening over these issues. For instance, with the compromise of 1850 there were almost none, if any, possible ways of compromising in such a way that both sides would have been happy. This is important to note in todays society as we are becoming incredibly polarized in politics. Generally, people on either side view the other side as foolish and misguided at the best and criminal or dangerous at the worst. I fear that we too, like America before the Civil War, passed the point of no return long ago. I doubt we will descend into another Civil War, or dissolve the union as an attempt to rise up would be immediately shut down by te military, but I do fear that it may lead to a lack of progress in that each time a party gains power it will spend its tenure undoing everything its predecessor did. In some cases that may be necessary, but it should not become commonplace as it will cause stagnation. We can also see that stagnation in Congress shortly before the War in the fact that almost nothing could be passed. We see this also in modern day politics in that the government keeps shutting down due to indecision. There was a reason President Washington campaigned against

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