U.S. History – Ch. 15, Sec. 1 – Questions

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Last updated: April 22, 2019

___________ literature and the _________ of new lands intensified the debate over slavery. The addition of new land in the _______ renewed disputes over the expansion of slavery. The _________________ tried to solve the disputes over slavery.

The ________________ caused more controversy. Abolitionists used antislavery ___________ to promote opposition.

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AntislaveryannexationWestCompromise of 1850Fugitive Slave Actliterature

Why did the addition of new land from the Mexican Cession cause problems over slavery?
There was a big dispute over whether the lands gained from the Mexican Cession should be free or slave lands.

President James Polk wanted to extend the dividing line to the West coast. However, some argued that popular sovereignty should apply.

Why did sectionalism in the United States increase in the late 1840’s?
Sectionalism increased because there was a question over whether new states should be free states or slave states.

The South was fearful that the number of free states would be greater than the number of slave states if additional free states were admitted. The North feared California being admitted as a slave state because then the South would have a majority.

How could the admission of California as a slave state or a free state upset the balance of power between the North and the South?
Before California entered the U.S.

, there were an equal number of slave and free states. If California entered the U.S.

as a free state, there would be more free states than slave states and the free states would win any Sectional issue.

What ideas did the Free-Soil Party promote?
The Free-Soil Party promoted the Wilmot Proviso which stated that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of the territory.

What were the major points of the Compromise of 1850? What differing opinions emerged toward Henry Clay’s proposed compromise?
The major points of the Compromise of 1850 were:(1) California would be a free state.(2) The remainder of the Mexican Cession was divided into 2 territories: Utah and New Mexico where slavery would be settled based on popular sovereignty.(3) Texas gave up claims to New Mexico in exchange for financial aid from the U.S.(4) Slave trade (not slavery itself) was outlawed in the capital(5) A new Fugitive Slave Law was passed.Some argued that California should be admitted immediately without restrictions, while others argued that allowing California to enter as a free state would upset the nation’s balance causing the South to separate from the Union.

Others simply called for the preservation of the Union.

How was Texas affected by the Compromise of 1850?
Texas had to give up its claims to the New Mexico territory, but it received aid from the United States in return.

What were the effects of the Fugitive Slave Act? Why did some Americans believe the Fugitive Slave Act was unfair?
The Fugitive Slave Act made it a crime to help runaway slaves. It also gave officials the power to arrest runaway slave in free states. Runaway slaves were to be brought before U.S. commissioners who would decide their fate.

But, the commissioners were paid more if they returned the slaves than if they let them go free.Many thought it was an unfair law because the commissioners were paid more for returning the slaves. Additionally, only white witnesses were allowed and the people who had hidden the fugitives were not allowed to testify. Northerners thought this was unfair because it did not allow the fugitives a trial by jury with fair witnesses.

What is an example of antislavery literature? How did literature aid the antislavery movement?
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher StoweAntislavery literature (1) educated people about the harsh realities of slavery, and (2) helped to gain sympathy for the abolitionist movement.

How did the issue of slavery promote sectionalism?
The states were divided on the issue of slavery based on whether they were Northern or Southern states.

They were not concerned with the country as a whole. They only cared about the effect of slavery on their own section of the country.

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