Exam preparation materials


The part of the Compromise of 1850 that most bothered abolitionists in the North was the strengthening of the Fugitive Slave Act. Under the new provisions of the bill, judges in the North determined the fate of blacks accused of being escaped slaves. Accused runaways were denied jury proceedings and often were denied the right to testify in their own trials. Heavy financial penalties were imposed on Northerners who helped slaves escape or who hid slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom's Cabin was written as a response to the Fugitive Slave Act. Stowe demonstrated the immorality of slavery in her novel, which sold nearly 275,000 copies in its first year of publication.

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