Lesson Plans, Lecture Notes, Board notes
Advanced Placement United States History
Mr. Anthony Perno


Lecture: Compromise of 1850 - the student will identify the major causes of sectional tension - the student will identify key elements of the Compromise - the student will recognize the reasons for the failure of Henry Clay's omni-bus bill - the student will recognize the "new politics" of Stephen Douglas and Jefferson Davis - the student will understand the method used to ratify the "compromise" - the student will understand why the Compromise of 1850 fueled sectional tensions

Compromise of 1850

Mexican cession/expansion threatens Senatorial balance - control of the federal government contested - abolitionists/free soil agitate north with "slave power conspiracy" propaganda - South resents northern anti-slave rhetoric and tactics (Wilmot Proviso promotes sectionalism)

old guard (Calhoun/Clay/Webster) take one final stab at compromise - Compromise of 1850

1. Texas declares/wins independence - Texas enters Union (as very large state) by joint session - Iowa balances Senate - Northers seek to limit size by forcing cession of western land/north of 360 30| - Texas cedes land in return for federal relief of war debt to banks

2. Utah/New Mexico Territories created - question of slavery left to "squatters rights" - Missouri Compromise NOT extended to Pacific/legitimacy now in question

3. California suffers gold rush of '49 - California ready for statehood ten years early - seeks admission as "free" state - senatorial balance in jeopardy - California enters as "free" state - Southern radicals (fire eaters) protest entry

4. Prigg vs. Penn. opens door for state personal liberty laws to undermine the "fugitive slave clause"(Constitution)/fugitive slave law (1793) - South gets stronger law and promise of enforcement

5. Abolitionists petition for abolition of slavery in national capital - South compromises by allowing slave trade to be abolished but slavery remains - abolitionist not satisfied

Clay unable to get omnibus bill passed - "Young Turks" Davis/Seward/Douglas divide bill and seeks separate passage through back room deals - separate bills log-rolled by abstentions/Taylor dies - bills passed/Fillmore signs but no sense of compromise is felt

Compromise begins to unravel - abolitionists undermine fugitive slave law with new personal liberty laws/underground railroad/radical (insulting) rhetoric of "slave power conspiracy"/Uncle Tom's Cabin - Southern "fire eaters" call for secession

transcontinental railroad catches imagination of nation - North and South bid for western thermal cite (Chicago/St. Louis) - Jefferson/South has "high ground" with Gadsden Purchase - S. Douglas needs organized territory in Nebraska to gain thermal cite for Illinois - Douglas offers "popular sovereignty" with Kansas-Nebraska Act - abolitionists protest violation of Missouri Compromise - greed prevails bill passes - Nebraska enters Union as "free" state - Kansas explodes in violence