Many members of Congress remained shaken by the controversy. Slavery had once again proved to be a problem that divided the nation along section lines. The Southerners had been thrown on the defensive to justify their “special institution,” the Northerners had groped that the “slave power” was trying to land the entire earth, and abolitionists like Congressman Arthur Livermore of New Hampshire wondered “how long the desire for wealth will blind us to the sin of holding. our fellows in chains? Although the compromise measure removed the immediate division caused by the Missouri question, it exacerbated the broader regional conflict between North and South. He drew the North`s attention to the fact that the Southerners not only had no intention of ending slavery, but also wanted to expand their presence. In the South, there was a growing believe that Northerners were using slavery as a smokescreen behind which they could revive the Federalist Party and strengthen central government at the expense of state rights. For nearly 30 years, the compromise worked, with two states admitted together, one slave, one free. Then, in 1850, California was admitted as a separate free state, upsetting the balance from 16 to 15, in exchange for a congressional guarantee that no restrictions on slavery would be imposed on the utah or New Mexico territories, and the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens of all states to return all fugitive slaves to their masters. In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not have the right to prohibit slavery in the territories as part of the Dred Scott decision.
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