California for the Fugitive Slave Law: A Good Choice?


Major General
Judge Adv. Genl.
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Aug 16, 2015
Historian William W. Freehling asserts that in the Compromise of 1850, "southern congressmen surrendered California to the North in exchange for a new Fugitive Slave Law."
William W. Freehling, The Reintegration of American History: Slavery and the Civil War. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 170.>
Do you agree? Was it a worthwhile trade for Southern interests? Why?
Sep 7, 2016
It's obviously a good thing that California was a free state. But I think the pro-slavery side did not make an advantageous choice in this matter. The Fugitive Slave Law served to further inflame Northern opinion against slavery, so it was eventually a losing issue as far as slaveholders were concerned.

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