Why did the Compromise of 1850 fail?


Quick Answer

The Compromise of 1850 failed, due to opposition from both anti-slavery northern Whigs and pro-slavery southern Democrats. Each time Henry Clay presented the Compromise before the senate, it did not receive a majority vote. President Zachary Taylor and William H. Seward, senator of New York, opposed the compromise.

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Full Answer

The Compromise of 1850 was a piece of legislation proposed by Henry Clay, Kentucky senator, to resolve sectional issues regarding slavery in the U.S after the American-Mexican war. The Compromise admitted that California was a free state and ended the slave trade in Washington D.C. It created the territories of New Mexico and Utah, allowing slavery to be determined by popular sovereignty. It also made it easier for Southerners to retrieve fugitive slaves.

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