Causes Of Missouri Compromise Of 1850

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The early United States was plagued with intense sectionalism between the North and the South. Beginning before the Revolutionary War, differing climates and resources available in the different factions caused nearly opposite economic and social structures to evolve. Long after the young country made peace with Britain, the North had become a powerhouse of industry, while the South was an impressive producer of raw materials and cash crops. Beyond anything else, slavery was the most significant cause of separation between the North and the South. The North fervently opposed slavery while the South ardently supported it. While it may seem that slavery was always an issue of morality for the North leading up to the Civil War, this was not the …show more content…
The Missouri compromise did little to slow down the growth of slavery, it mainly attempted to make sure Southern power did not grow faster than Northern power. The Compromise of 1850 went a little further, Northern supporters of this compromise at least attempted to reduce the spread of slavery. Nevertheless, the strengthening of the Fugitive Slave Law as part of the Compromise of 1850 obliterated any progress made to fight slavery based on ethical grounds. These compromises were obviously not influenced by northern virtue because morals cannot be compromised. If Northern legislators vehemently opposed slavery, they would have done more to reverse it. Even the new “antislavery” political parties that came about some years after the Compromise of 1850 did not attempt to actually free enslaved people. For example, William Lloyd Garrison once described the Free-Soil Party as “…a party for keeping Free Soil and not for setting men free.” Despite the blatant, horrendous moral injustices that slavery presented, self-declared opponents of slavery did little to oppose slavery based on …show more content…
John Brown is a prime example of someone who was ethically opposed to slavery. Unlike many anti-slavery Northern legislators, he did everything in his limited power to stop the spread of and eliminate slavery. He made friends with fugitive slaves, and helped them escape the country. When he was finally charged with treason after his attack on Harper’s Ferry, he was calm. He received his conviction with peace; he believed what he did was just. There was widespread support for John Brown by Northern abolitionists, as many citizens in the North held a similar philosophy and moral disapproval of slavery. The strengthening of the Fugitive Slave Act as part of Compromise of 1850 meant that those who did ethically oppose slavery were forced to defy their own consciences, or risk serious criminal charges. Anyone in legislature who agreed that slavery was unjust would have not allowed the Compromise of 1850 to pass. Not only did it do nothing to end the institution of slavery, but it also forced abolitionists to ignore their

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