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Fugitive slave act 1850 essay writer

Jun 21, 2018

The Fugitive Slave Act in the 1850 Compromise was an extremely important law as it effected so many people around the country prior to the Civil War. This act basically demanded that any Federal marshall or law enforcement agent would be held responsible if they did not arrest an alleged runaway slave, regardless of proof. All that was required to determine that someone was allegedly a runaway slave was the testimony of one person.

If one person accused an African-American of being a slave that had run off, they would have to be arrested or the officer would be fined $1000. This made it virtually impossible for a black person to have any recourse in regards to someone maliciously accusing them of being a slave, and making it easy for someone to claim ownership of someone who was not their slave at all. The defendant was unable to ask for a jury trial and not entitled to testify for themselves.

The effects of this act were wide-reaching. The Underground Railroad, which was helping hundreds of slaves go north to escape slavery, now made their target destination as Canada in response to the Fugitive Slave Act. The north was also forced into being a defender of slavery in the south, so even in states where slavery was not allowed, their officers and the general public were held responsible for any escaped slaves that might come into their communities.

Abolitionists were forced to take an even deeper look at slavery because now their helping an escaped slave could result in a fine or even jail time as punishment. This forced many abolitionists to become even more outspoken against the institution of slavery and the Southerners that owned them. This act would spawn court cases and rulings as people struggled between the law and their own consciences, and it would remain in effect straight through the Civil War.

An important consequence of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was improved relations between the North and South.

A gain in support for the abolitionist movement.

Fewer runaway enslaved people being captured and returned.

More enslaved people escaping to the North.

The Fugitive Slave Law Of 1850

Caitlinn Lovett
Professor Jimmy Pigg
US History 201
16 June 2015
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was part of a group of laws that are known as the Compromise of 1850. The law required that all escaped slaves who fled were to be returned to their masters and prohibited anyone from aiding runaway slaves. Abolitionists hated the passage of this law so much that it played a major role in the end of slavery. The northern attitude toward slavery was resented by the southern states and was a contributing factor to the start of the Underground Railroad. Following the Mexican-American War, a series of bills were developed intended to settle many of the difficulties presented by slavery and other controversial issues. The strained relations between the North and South were amplifying because slavery was such a bitter issue. The growing tensions between those two regions evolved as a result of the Mexican-American War. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was intended to strengthen Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, of the U.S Constitution that states, “No person held in service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation, therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due” (Fugitive Slave Law of 1850). Henry Clay’s proposal to aid in the enforcement of this clause recognized the fact that several northern states had passed personal liberty laws, protecting the rights of citizens claimed as fugitive slaves. The states had done so in reaction to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, which provided that a slave could be captured by a slaveholder or this agent and brought before a federal or local judge. If the judge ruled that the charges against the fugitive were true, he or she would be returned to slavery. The act was challenged in the free states as a violation of the right to trial by jury. The increase of antislavery activity in the North and the growth of the Underground Railroad caused southern proslavery forces to demand a new fugitive slave law. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 essentially grew out of existing state and federal laws regarding the capture of escaped slaves. By 1850, though, the United States had grown even more and America had won a large amount of territory. Was that land to be slave territory or free territory? Abolitionists and slave-owners disagreed immensely; therefore, Congress passed another Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, as a concession to Southern states, in an effort to preserve the Union and because the 1793 Act was essentially ineffective. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850 and required all citizens to help catch runaway slaves that lived as free citizens in northern states. The law caused an uproar and made northerners feel like they were part of the slave system and that their own rights were being infringed upon. It was said that around 3,000 slaves had fled to the North and Canada and some of them used the Underground Railroad to reach Canada. We usually think of the United States as an asylum for liberty, of people fleeing oppression elsewhere in the world to come to the United States. It's a little jarring to remember that there were thousands of free born Americans who fled to Canada because their freedom could no longer be taken for granted within the United States (Foner). The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had several parts, and allowed for the slave owners to bring an alleged fugitive before a judge and use testimony of white witnesses or an affidavit from a court in a slavery state to prove ownership. Citizens were now required by law to help catch and return run-away slaves, and slaves who were caught no longer had the right to a trial by jury. They were tried by people hired especially for that purpose who were paid $10 for returning them to slave owners and only $5... Continue Reading

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Caitlinn LovettProfessor Jimmy PiggUS History 20116 June 2015The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was part of a group of laws that are known as the Compromise of 1850. The law required that all escaped slaves who fled were to be returned to their masters and prohibited anyone from aiding runaway slaves. Abolitionists hated the passage of this law so much that it played a major role in the end of slavery. The northern attitude toward slavery was resented by the southern states and was a contributing factor to the start of the Underground Railroad. Following the Mexican-American War, a series of bills were developed intended to settle many of the difficulties presented by slavery and other controversial issues. The strained relations between the North and South were amplifying because slavery was such a bitter issue. The growing tensions between those two regions evolved as a result of the Mexican-American War. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was intended to strengthen Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, of the U.S Constitution that states, “No person held in service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation, therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due” (Fugitive Slave Law of 1850). Henry Clay’s proposal to aid in the enforcement of this clause recognized the fact that several northern states had passed personal liberty laws, protecting the rights of citizens claimed as fugitive slaves. The states had done so in reaction to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, which provided that a slave could be captured by a slaveholder or this agent and brought before a federal or local judge. If the judge ruled that the charges against the fugitive were true, he or she would be returned to slavery. The act was challenged in the free states as a violation of the right to trial by jury. The increase of antislavery activity in the North and the growth of the Underground Railroad caused southern proslavery forces to demand a new fugitive slave law. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 essentially grew out of existing state and federal laws regarding the capture of escaped slaves. By 1850, though, the United States had grown even more and America had won a large amount of territory. Was that land to be slave territory or free territory? Abolitionists and slave-owners disagreed immensely; therefore, Congress passed another Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, as a concession to Southern states, in an effort to preserve the Union and because the 1793 Act was essentially ineffective. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was part of the Compromise of 1850 and required all citizens to help catch runaway slaves that lived as free citizens in northern states. The law caused an uproar and made northerners feel like they were part of the slave system and that their own rights were being infringed upon. It was said that around 3,000 slaves had fled to the North and Canada and some of them used the Underground Railroad to reach Canada. We usually think of the United States as an asylum for liberty, of people fleeing oppression elsewhere in the world to come to the United States. It's a little jarring to remember that there were thousands of free born Americans who fled to Canada because their freedom could no longer be taken for granted within the United States (Foner). The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had several parts, and allowed for the slave owners to bring an alleged fugitive before a judge and use testimony of white witnesses or an affidavit from a court in a slavery state to prove ownership. Citizens were now required by law to help catch and return run-away slaves, and slaves who were caught no longer had the right to a trial by jury. They were tried by people hired especially for that purpose who were paid $10 for returning them to slave owners and only $5...

Globalization, as defined by rich people like us, is a very nice thing... you are talking about the Internet, you are talking about cell phones, you are talking about computers. This doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world. Jimmy Carter

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