Great Compromise

Kaitlyn Kong
Great Compromise Kaitlyn has been a Girl Scout for over seven years and has danced for over a decade. She is double-jointed in all ten fingers.

“The real question in this topic is, which side did the Great Compromise of 1850 truly benefit more, the north or the south?”

The great Compromise of 1850 sparked the rebellion of slavery by the northerners. We live in the 21st century, where equality is wanted everywhere by everyone. We want equality on the basis of gender, race, age, and on personal information. In recent situations, females have been wanting to be treated equally by having the same salary for the same career as a male does. Also, people want to be treated fairly no matter if their income for the year is higher or lower than the benchmark. The abolishment of slavery led to these equal wantings. And when the compromise is the cause of the end of slavery, it leads us to the era in which every man or woman should be treated all the same.

As a kid, not all of us are into the whole subject of history or social studies. Whenever we think of this school subject, we think of boring textbooks and completing questions given to us by teachers. But little do we all know that events in history eventually led us to the present, where people are happier because changes have been made throughout history.

No one ever wants to repeat mistakes, but how will we know what not to repeat without actually learning the history that started it all? History may be referred to as a simple period in time when everybody did their jobs and didn’t have to worry about much. Such that, one may think about the late 20s to early 30s and think that nothing else was happening during that time except for flappers dancing and men in suits drinking and laughing. But in reality, times in history weren’t always just so simple. There was more drama and meaning in the 1850s. During the time period of the 1850s, this period led to the blood and gore of the Civil War in the 1860s that have plenty of bloody battles that were results throughout the great Compromise of 1850.  

So, what is truly the Great Compromise of 1850? The Great Compromise of 1850 was issued by Senator Henry Clay, who was nicknamed “The Compromiser” due to his efforts to keep peace between both sides so that no more states would secede and rebel. The compromise was built over the argument of slavery. It was issued to supposedly benefit both sides and make things right, but that wasn’t always the case. Things were unfair between the north and south within the issue of slavery. The north wanted to abolish the act of slavery while the south did not.

To the north, California was admitted to the Union as a free state, and the slave trade was to be banned in the capital. In the south, the people who lived in the territories of the new land gained by the Mexican-American War were to decide themselves whether to become a free or a slave state. This was called the act of popular sovereignty, in which people get to decide themselves on issues rather than elected representatives decide. Additionally, the other benefits to the north was that the debt on Texas was going to be paid and that there was a new and harsh law given to the north called the Fugitive Slave Act. This was the act in which any runaway slave fleeing to the north to escape slavery must be given back to the owner in the south only if a northerner saw a runaway slave.

The northerners hated this new law because they wanted to help some slaves  to escape slavery. Many northerners would even risk their lives to help and free slaves instead of turning them over to the rightful authorities. Many revolts and boycotts were also put in action to go against the fugitive slave law. The consequences to the Northerners if they did not help out were that they were fined and sometimes even summoned to jail or a death sentence. However, there was always a loophole to these kinds of situations that the people of the north had found out. This trip-up was that if a northerner had to report a slave, they could direct the police or the slave catchers in the opposite direction that the slave went. This would stall some time so the slave could be free and hopefully escape to Canada, where slavery was completely illegal.

The real question in this topic is, which side did the Great Compromise of 1850 truly benefit more, the north or the south? Many would say that the benefit was given to the north because the Compromise only added on positive actions, such as banning slave trade in the capital and the admission of California as a free state. Meanwhile, the benefits given to the south weren’t all positive. With the action of popular sovereignty, some land could be added and vote to be a free state instead of a slave state. However, this may not be the case.

I strongly believe that the benefit of the Compromise of 1850 was given to the south because the Fugitive Slave Act really boosted their benefits while it dragged the beliefs of many northerners down. The north was so affected with this new law considering that no benefit to the north has affected the south so much. This proves that the result of the compromise was an advantage to the south.

Thus I can conclude that the Compromise of 1850 was an agreement that was beneficial to both the people of the north and the south. It tied the silver lining from both sides of the nation closer together from what it was originally. The two different distinct social classes of owner and slave worker were now closer than ever, and there was a more fair and just group of males and females that could decide on their own whether to live in an area where slavery is in action or to live in a place where people deserve to be held to their right of freedom and their liberty. In future years, Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln had stated in his speech of the Dred Scott case in 1857 over the issue of the rights of slaves that according to the U.S. Constitution, every man or woman is a citizen and every citizen is entitled to their freedom and individual rights. With this statement, Lincoln had said, he eventually had the authority to end slavery in the 1860s and when the age of slavery had ended, it led to our present time of the 21st century where the issue of equality has been improved. In some ways, this issue has been improved now is that people of different race are allowed to be in the same school and use the same restrooms. So, this is how the Compromise of 1850 has led to the rebellion of slavery which led to the abolishment of slavery which led to the present where equality issues have been improved. And with the recent issues of equality, it just seems that these situations arose from the outcomes of the Great Compromise of 1850.

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