A great READING resource with QUESTIONS and ANSWER KEY included! It focuses on the topic of Compromise of 1850.
Included are 1 page reading, 1 page question sheet and 1 page answer key! Perfect for homework assignments, classwork or reading for test review! Can be used for both middle and high school level.
The reading first introduces to students the concept of a compromise and why the United States needed a compromise in 1850 to preserve the Union. It explains to students the purpose of a compromise, and how it aims to mitigate conflicts between the North and South. There is also a reading section that explains how the Compromise of 1850 relates to its prior predecessor of the Missouri Compromise. It reminds students the recurring theme of how the nation becomes divisive on the issue of slavery whenever a new territory joins the Union. In this case, the nation becomes divisive on whether newly acquired territories from the Mexican-American War should become free or slave states. This affects both northerners and southerners as they were concerned with the shift in representative power. The reading goes in depth in comparing three different core groups with opposing viewpoints on status of territories. One group is the Free Soil Movement in which they rejected the presence of slavery in new territories. Not to be mistaken with abolitionists, these people viewed slavery as a threat of economic competition with white labor. In addition, students will also learn how the second group of radical southerners advocated for slavery. They viewed slavery as a constitutional right as slaves were considered their “property” and therefore the right to expand slavery. The last group introduced is the moderate southerners and northerners who supported popular sovereignty. Students will learn what is popular sovereignty and how it represented as a compromise between both groups.
There is also a reading section that pinpoints which event that triggered the need for a compromise. It focuses on how the gold rush of 1849 draws an influx of population to California, and the need for order. This led California to apply for statehood into the Union as a free state. The reading will explain how California’s request to be a free state pushed the nation on the verge of a civil war as southerners were upset with the balance of free and slave states. Lastly, the reading will conclude with the listed conditions of the Compromise of 1850. The important conditions mentioned were admitting California as a free state, allowing territories from the Mexican Cession to use popular sovereignty and enacting the Fugitive Slave Law. It will explain how Henry Clay’s Compromise of 1850 attempted to close the wound of slavery between the North and South despite its shortcomings.
Some vocabulary words and key terms that are included in this reading are compromise, Missouri Compromise, secede, Louisiana Purchase, latitude 36’30, Mexican American War, Mexican Cession, Free Soil Movement, Whigs, abolitionists, constitutional right, popular sovereignty, Lewis Cass, John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, President Zachary Taylor, President Millard Fillmore, gold rush of 1849, California, Senate, Civil War, Fugitive Slave Law and Stephen A. Douglas.
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