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The Fugitive Slave Act

This law was passed in 1850 to recapture runaway slaves during the Civil War.

When Congress was making California a state, both North and South were arguing on whether or not California should be a free state or slave state. So Henry Clay, a senator from Kentucky thought of a plan that would benefit both the North and the South. Part of what the South got was the Fugitive Slave Act. This is why the Fugitive Slave act was passed.

The Fugitive Slave Act was a law that passed to recapture runaway slaves. Then people accused people they thought were slaves; they would have the right to have the man/woman held. Then they would take the person to a federal commissioner and he or she would act as judge. The slave capturer who accused the person that he was the slave would receive five dollars for turning the accused in and 10 dollars if the slave was returned to it’s owner. Because of the reward, slave capturers roamed across the North.

The North and South had different ideas about the Fugitive Slave Act. Most Northerners highly detested it. The South, however, had a positive idea of the law. The Southerners who didn’t own slaves probably roamed the North looking for runaway slaves that they thought they could turn in for money. Other Southerners who owned slaves were able to retrieve their slaves back when they ran away. This is how the North and South part of the United States were affected.

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