What Were Some Facts About the Compromise of 1850?

The Compromise of 1850 included many provisions that were not found in the original 1820 Missouri Compromise, which was the original attempt at keeping sectional balance and maintaining peace and union. The original proposal was presented by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay. The purpose of the Compromise of 1850 was to avoid disunion and war by achieving political balance between the north and south and abolitionists and supporters of slavery.

The Senate Select Committee of Thirteen drafted the legislation based on Clay's proposal. It was bundled in an omnibus bill and was rejected by the Senate. The Compromise of 1850 was prompted by new territory acquired during the Mexican American war and the application of California as a free state. President Millard Fillmore supported the Compromise of 1850 and signed it into law in September 1850.

The Compromise of 1850 included the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The law abolished the slave trade in Washington D.C., but slave ownership continued. California was accepted into the Union as a free state as a result of legislation, and the governments in New Mexico and Utah were organized. Texas received ten million dollars in exchange for land it gained during the Mexican American war, setting the present geographical boundaries of the state.