Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the US Congress in 1793 and was later amended in 1850. These two US federal laws gave the government the power to capture and return runaway slaves within the American territory. However, they eventually ignited the flames of Civil War, instead of uniting America as they were intended to do. In 1864, both acts were repealed after growing numbers of abolitionists opposed and fought them. For more information on the Fugitive Slave act read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- The system of American slavery started from the first shipping of Africans to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia during the early 17th century. The triangular trade or transatlantic slave trading intensified the shipping of African slaves to the New World. African-American slaves served on plantations which generated income for the owners and became one of the central contributors towards the American economy, both before and after the revolution.
- It was also called as the Bloodhound Law by the Free-Soilers from the North.
- As early as 1643, state acts existed to control the refugee slaves and prevent them from being free. The New England Confederation along with the other states from the original thirteen colonies drafted laws for the capture and return of refugee slaves.
- The first Fugitive Slave Act was passed by Congress in 1793. It gave power to the slave owners to be like bounty hunters: searching, capturing, and returning escaped slaves. The Northerners were alarmed as it was similar to tolerating the act of kidnapping. They also feared that their territories would become hunting grounds for the slave chasers.
- Northerners did not impose the Fugitive Slave Act in their respective states. As a refusal, they passed the Personal Liberty Laws which were later on challenged through the Supreme Court case of Prigg v. Pennsylvania.
- In the Constitutional Convention of 1787, most of the northern states including New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island had already abolished slavery.
- Amidst the 1793 law, the black population in Cass County, Michigan grew rapidly. Runaway blacks found the resistance of white settlers to slavery and low cost of land, life saving.
- By the mid-1800s, thousands of slaves sought refuge in the free states. The Underground Railroad was one of the most prolific escape networks. This triggered the Southern politicians to amend the first Fugitive Slave Act and Henry Clay pioneered the passing of the reinforced Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
- Henry Clay was a southern Representative, who proposed the Compromise of 1850 which included additional clauses for the strict enforcement of the slave act. It compelled citizens to capture runaway slaves and they were prohibited to undergo trial or face a jury. Agents were hired to intentionally search and capture runaway slaves with pay. Marshals who did not arrest fugitive slaves were fined heavily.
- A year later, a series of riots, revolts, and rescue actions occurred as an outspoken refusal to the Fugitive Slave Act. States like Vermont, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New York established large units to assist the runaway slaves. Northern politicians doubled their efforts in proposing acts to be able to repeal or nullify the said slave act.
- The Fugitive Slave Act was obviously unenforceable in the free states of the north.
- On June 28, 1864, both of the Fugitive Slave Acts were finally repealed by the Congress.
Fugitive Slave Act Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Fugitive Slave Act Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about The Fugitive Slave Law or Fugitive Slave Act which was passed by the US Congress in 1793 and was later amended in 1850. These two US federal laws gave the government the power to capture and return runaway slaves within the American territory.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Fugitive Slave Act Facts
- America and Slavery
- Famous Freedom Fighters
- Mapping American States
- Underground Railroad Word Search
- North v. South
- Everything About Abraham Lincoln
- 12 Years a Slave
- Make a Stand!
- Race After Centuries
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Fugitive Slave Act Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 14, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.