New land•From 1846 – 1848, the United States fought a war with Mexico over disputed land along the southern border of Texas.
New land• The Treaty of Guadalupe- Hidalgo that ended that war gave the U.S. land that now makes up the states of California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.
Old problem, new answer•The question with regard to that new territory would be whether or not slavery could exist there.
Old problem, new answer• One answer came quickly, as David Wilmot, a Democrat member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, wanted to make “an express and fundamental condition” that slavery would never exist there.
Old problem, new answer•While the Wilmot Proviso was never enacted, it certainly pushed the discussion of slavery to a new level.
california• By 1850, enough people had moved to California for it to apply for statehood.
california• California threatened to break that balance between slave and free because the people wanted it to be a free state.
passage• President Millard Fillmore agreed to sign each piece of the Compromise of 1850 into law, which was the only way the compromise would pass.
passage• This decision was made by Stephen Douglas, a Senator from Illinois, who had taken power away from Henry Clay, who wanted to pass the compromise in one big bill.
passage• The Compromise of 1850 was the last appearance on the national stage for Clay, Calhoun, and Webster, who had taken a fledgling nation into adolescence.
passage• The Compromise of 1850 accomplished very little, as Southerners were not satisfied with the result and Northerners were outraged, primarily by the Fugitive Slave Act, which inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe to write Uncle Tom’s Cabin.