Summary and Definition of 1850 Fugitive Slave Act
Definition and Summary: The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was passed on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 and a concession to the South, increasing penalties against fugitive slaves and the people who aided them.
The Fugitive Slave Act for kids: The Constitution and the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act
Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution (called the Fugitive Slave Clause) provides that persons held to service in one state escaping into another state shall be returned to the slave owner. Slaves lived under heavy restrictions and passes were required for all slaves working or traveling outside the plantation. In 1793 Congress passed a law called the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act to carry out this provision of the Constitution.
The Fugitive Slave Act: Avoiding the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act
Many Northern states wanted to evade the act and some states passed "personal liberty laws" giving the right of a jury trial before fugitive slaves could be moved - many of these juries refused to convict fugitives charged under the Act. Other states in the North forbade the use of local jails, or the assistance of state officials, in the arrest or return of runaway slaves.
The Fugitive Slave Act: The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act
The 1793 Act was therefore not particularly effective because its enforcement had been left to the states, and public opinion in the North was opposed to the return of runaway, fugitive slaves. The law of 1850 increased harsher penalties against runaway slaves and the people who helped them. It also the power to United States to enforce the law by arresting or returning runaway slaves and led to the formation of slave patrols.
The End of the Fugitive Slave Act
The end of the Fugitive Slave Act
Both the Acts were officially repealed by an act of Congress on June 28, 1864
The 13th Amendment was passed on January 31, 1865 abolishing slavery
1793 Fugitive Slave Act
The 1793 Act gave slave owners the right to recover escaped fugitive slaves and required citizens to help in the return of an escaped slave from one state to another.
What was the Purpose of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act?
Why was the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act enacted? The purpose of the 1793 Act was carry out the provision of Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 in the Constitution.
What was the Significance of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act?
The significance of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act was that:
Legal, organized, Slave Patrols were established in the south
The law was seldom enforced in the north, because its enforcement had been left to the states
Public opinion in the North gradually strengthened against slavery
1850 Fugitive Slave Act
The 1850 Act increased penalties against fugitive slaves and any people who helped them. In 1850, the value of male slaves was over $2000. The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was nicknamed it the "Bloodhound Law" by Abolitionists because dogs were used by slave catchers to track down fugitives.
Why was the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act enacted?
The reason the 1850 law was enacted was as a concession to the Southern slave states as part of the Compromise of 1850 which sought to obtain agreement between the Southern states and the Northern Free States as to the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848).
Thousands of slaves had escaped from slavery in the Slave States of the South to the Free States in the North
The Abolishment Movement was established in 1830 and the number of its supporters was growing
The Underground Railroad was established in1832 to help fugitive slaves and many slaves escaped to Canada
What were the effects of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act?
The effects of the 1850 Act were:
The Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened
Penalties for helping slaves were increased to $1000 and six months in jail
It penalized United States officials who did not arrest a alleged runaway slaves
Runaway slaves were not entitled to a jury trial
Runaway slaves were not allowed to testify on their own behalf
What was the Significance of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act?
The significance of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act was that:
The law further increased the ill feeling between the people of the two sections of the nation
The 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, together with the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852, convinced the Northerners that bounds must be set to the extension of slavery
The use of slave patrols came to an end when the Civil War ended but are linked to post civil war groups such as the Ku Klux Klan
This act was one of the Causes of the Civil War
Black History for kids: Important People and Events
For visitors interested in African American History refer to Black History - People and Events. A useful resource for teachers, kids, schools and colleges undertaking projects for the Black History Month.