Compromise In the year 1850, disagreement between the North and the South about slavery was growing. An earlier settlement called

Compromise In the year 1850, disagreement between the North and the South about slavery was growing. An earlier settlement called the Missouri Compromise had ed to solve the problem for about 30 years. As in any compromise, neither side was completely satisfied, but each got part of what it wanted. Then in 1849, California asked to join the Union as a free state. There were 15 slave states and 15 free states. Adding another free state would upset the balance. Henry Clay was known as the “Great Compromiser.” He worked to keep the states united. In 1849, Clay was elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky. As a senator, he wanted to find a way to solve the controversy (serious arguments) between the North and South. A number of issues needed to be resolved: The first was statehood for California. Congress was not likely to approve admission for another free state. The United States had been at war with Mexico, and as a result, the federal government got new territory. Should the territory allow slavery or not? Texas claimed that its territory extended to Santa Fe. The government disagreed; that is, it disputed Texas’s right to expand into what is now New Mexico. Slaves were traded in Washington, D.C. Many believed that was wrong in the capital of the nation. Clay presented his ideas in the Senate, hoping to keep the country united. Not everyone agreed with Clay’s ideas, and a debate lasted for months. Clay asked that California become a state, but Congress could not decide whether it would be free or slave. Clay proposed that the people living in a territory set up on land gained in the war with Mexico could decide the question of slavery for themselves. Also, the borders of Texas would not include any part of New Mexico. In return, Texas would be paid for the land in dispute. Slavery in the District of Columbia could not be ended without the people’s consent. However, slaves could no longer be traded in the nation’s capital. Laws would provide for the return of runaway slaves. Finally, Congress would have no


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