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The Road to Disunion The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

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Presentation on theme: "The Road to Disunion The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Road to Disunion The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

2 Focus Question Explain whether or not this is an effective poster:


4 Objectives After today’s lesson, you will: Describe the impact of the Fugitive Slave Act on the U.S. Discuss the impact of slavery on the entire population

5 The Fugitive Slave Act Part of the Compromise of 1850 Designed to protect property rights of Southerners ◦ Tightened up the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 ◦ Intended to counter the Underground Railroad


7 Activities of the Underground Railroad Assisted escaping slaves in the U.S. Illegal group of abolitionists and sympathizers Helped conduct several thousand fugitive slaves to freedom

8 Organized Resistance ◦ Specific roles on the route  Many known as “conductors”  Set up secret meeting places, or “stations”  Organized into small groups to avoid discovery

9 Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 Designed to stop these activities ◦ Federal commissions for fugitive slave cases ◦ Cases heard by commissioners, not juries ◦ Alleged slaves could not testify ◦ Simple affidavit enough to reclaim a “slave”

10 Impacted Marshal Service Federal Marshals required to assist slave hunters Could deputize bystanders on the spot Refusal to help was made a felony

11 Infuriated the North The Wisconsin Supreme Court declared the Act unconstitutional (overturned) Many states passed Personal Liberty Laws ◦ Laws stressed that residents of those states did not have to abide by the Fugitive Slave Act ◦ “Nullified” the Act ◦ Purpose?

12 Cracks in the Compromise The Fugitive Slave Act enflamed Northern opinion ◦ Assaulted ideas of personal liberty ◦ Assaulted ideas of fair play ◦ Growth of the “Slaveocracy” Reaction to the Act infuriated the South ◦ Would the “Free” states continue to abide by the Constitution? ◦ What protections existed for their “property”?

13 Summary: In a short response of one to two sentences, reply to the following prompt: Why is it important to investigate this particular episode of American history?

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