Fugitive Slave Law

(4392 words)

Historical Context Essay


The Evolution of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850

The laws governing slavery in Antebellum America were as varied as the Southern states that embraced them. There were, in fact, two primary systems of law that governed the life of a slave before the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was passed in 1865 abolishing slavery in the United States forever. First, each state prior to the end of the Civil War was essentially self-governing and formulated its own statutes concerning the “peculiar institution” of chattel slavery which, by 1820, had largely been abolished by the independent, self-governing northern states. Indeed, historians have argued that, because the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution d…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Lowance, Mason. "Fugitive Slave Law". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1333, accessed 05 September 2015.]