A political compromise between the North and South of the USA. Initiated by Henry Clay, it became law in September 1850. In an attempt to resolve problems arising from slavery it provided for the admission of California as a free state, the organization of the Utah and New Mexico territories with no mention of slavery, the abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia (Washington), and a stricter fugitive slave law. Hopes that these measures would provide an enduring solution to North–South antagonism were dashed by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) and other issues, including persistent popular resistance to the return of fugitive slaves.
Subjects: History — Warfare and Defence.