Tag Archives: 154-9

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Laws which assured slave owners that runaway slaves would be returned had been in force since the ratification of the Constitution. Indeed, the Constitution required such laws. Decades later, however, many of these laws were unenforced in northern states and abolitionists actively helped runaway slaves flee ever northward to freedom. Slave owners, as part of the Compromise of 1850, pushed for the adoption of stronger fugitive slave laws. One section of the law is below.
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Women’s Rights: The Seneca Falls Declaration

The Seneca Falls Conference of 1848, held in New York, is often considered the launching point for the women’s movement in the United States. Women–despite legal and economic restrictions and oppression–were a driving force in many of the social reform movements of the time such as the abolition and temperance movements. Their drive for greater political, legal, and economic freedom, including the right to vote has been arduous.
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Expansion and “Indian Removal”

From the earliest days of the United States, westward moving settlers came into conflict with Native Americans. Government policy was to purchase Native land and, in return, grant tribes land further west, hopefully out of the way of white settlers. This excerpt from President Andrew Jackon’s 1830 State of the Union address is typical of white American attitudes toward Native Americans during ¬†this period.

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