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Wilmot Proviso

Bill proposed after the Mexican War that stated that neither slavery no involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any territory gained from Mexico. It was never passed through both houses but it transformed the debate of slavery.

Popular Sovereignty

The letting of residents in the territories decide the question of slavery for themselves. This was a major issue in the debate of the territories in the west in deciding which states will ban or keep slavery.

the Free-Soil Party

bipartisan (whigs and former supporters of the Liberty Party) antislavery party founded to keep slavery out of the western territories. Later merged with the Republican party. Mostly northerners

The compromise of 1850

a series of measures by Douglas that attempted to resolve the territorial and slavery controversies arising from the Mexican War . California was admitted as a free state; the territories in the west determined the issue of slavery based on popular sovereignty; the slave trade was abolished in Washington, D.C.; and The new Fugitive Slave Law was passed. At best this compromise was an armistice delaying greater conflict, than compromise.

The Fugitive Slave Act

A part of the compromise of 1850 that Gave a new-and controversial- protection to slavery. Declared that every had to help catch fugitive slaves, made it illegal to harbor fugitives and the judges who heard the slave cases were paid $10 for each slave returned and $5 if he does not return the slave.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe that conveyed the agonies faced by slave families and the evils of slavery. highly influenced the north's view on the Deep South and slavery. a novel promoting abolition. intensified sectional conflict.

The Underground Railroad

illegal network of abolitionists stations all over the border state region spiriting runaways to freedom in safe houses, secret hideouts, and wagons. Harriet Tubman was a major key in its success. (Never very organized, thousands of slaves escaped mostly through their own wits and courage)

Harriet Tubman

American abolitionist. Born a slave on a Maryland plantation, she escaped to the North and became the most renowned conductor on the Underground Railroad, leading more than 300 slaves to freedom.

Stephen Douglas

Senator from Illinois, author of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Freeport Doctrine, and one of the writers of the Compromise of 1850. argues in favor of popular sovereignty.

The Kansas Nebraska bill

Written by Stephen Douglas. Repealed the Missouri Compromise and stated that the issue of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska would be settled by Popular sovereignty. This bill could allow states to have slavery even though it had been prohibited for thirty-four years.

the American (know-nothing) Party

An anti-immigrant party that believed in nativism who disliked foreigners and Catholics. Dissolved after 1856 because they could not keep their northern and southern wings together

"Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men"

Slogan of the Free- soil party to promote antislavery in western territories in 1848 election

Bleeding Kansas

A sequence of violent events involving abolitionists and pro-Slavery elements that took place in KansasTerritory where new proslavery and antislavery constitutions competed.The dispute further strained the relations of the North and South, making civil war imminent.

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