Abolished in northern states but discrimination still

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abolished in northern states but discrimination still continued The southern states had large plantations growing cotton – they needed a large labour base So in the south, slavery was not a moral question, it was an economic necessitySlave ownership was a main determinant of wealth in the south Slaves were a commodity and an investment – could be bought and sold After the acquisition of the new territories from mexico, there were heated debates in the u.s. congress over the spread of slavery in these areasCompromise of 1850 California became a free state Texas boundary set at its present limits - lost new mexico territory Territories of new mexico and utah organized on basis of popular sovereignty (ambiguous)Fugitive slave law strengthened Slave trade abolished in the district of columbia1850 –fugitive slave act passed in the u.s. by congress escaped slaves, if caught, even in states that had outlawed slavery, could be captured and sent back to their owners.Some slave owners hired bounty hunters – many destroyed papers of freed slaves in order to collect the bountypenalties on those who harboured fugitivesnorthern citizens could be summoned to hunt fugitivesabolitionists said this was a violation of basic human rightsno trial by jury”free” states no longer a safe haven for escaped slaves estimated 20,000 fled to canadaBy the time of the american civil in 1861, there were about 40,000 blacks in canada and an estimated 23,000 blacks living in what is now ontario. most of these were canadian-born and most were free settlersThere were nearly 4 million black slaves in the u.s.The underground railway – 30,000 freedName applied in the 1830s – origins go back to the 18th century Came to a height during the american civil war, 1860-1865 Consisted of a network of abolitionists who provided places of refuge for runaway slaves Cause of a legend – numbers over-estimated Allowed canadians to congratulate themselves on their anti-racist position In fact, there was a rapidly rising anti-black sentiment in canada Most famous is harriet tubman who is credited with making 19 trips and having led over 300 slaves to freedom Her trips ended in the niagara peninsula Tubman and other slaves used songs as a strategy to communicate with slavesThey contained words giving directions on how to escape (signal songs) or where to meet (map songs)
Canada in the 1850sLate 1850s –worry in the canadian provinces about the growing nationalism in the u.s. Dramatic economic growth in canada Steady population growth Population of canada west now exceeds that of canada east1857 –bytown (now called ottawa) selected to become the new capitalBy 1861 –increasing demands in canada west for “rep by pop” Assembly filled with railway investors – guarantees given to three railways, including the grand trunk – finance minister, alexander galt, was a major investor in the grand trunk railway

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