Compromise of 1850
A set of laws, passed in the midst of fierce wrangling between groups favoring slavery and groups opposing it, that attempted to give something to both sides. The compromise admitted California to the United States as a “free” (no slavery) state but allowed some newly acquired territories to decide on slavery for themselves. Part of the Compromise included the Fugitive Slave Act, which proved highly unpopular in the North. Senator Henry Clay was a force behind the passage of the compromise.