What were the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, and the Personal Liberty Laws?

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    Fugitive Slave Act of 1850-The Fugitive Slave Act was one of the Compromises included in the 'Compromise of 1850'. The passage of this Act along with slaveholding rights in Texas allowed California to enter the union as a free state and prohibited the slave trade in the District of Columbia. This Act was particularly hated by abolitionists and stoked the fire of the Underground Railroad.

    the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793-A law enacted by Congress in 1793 to enable the return of runaway slaves to their owners. It allowed slave owners to retrieve a runaway in any state or territory and to apply to a judge for a custody certificate. Some Northerners opposed it as a violation of civil liberties, and slaveholders argued that its provisions were too ambiguous.

    Personal Liberty Laws-Laws passed by U.S. states in the North to counter the Fugitive Slave Acts. Such states as Indiana (1824) and Connecticut (1828) enacted laws giving escaped slaves the right to jury trials on appeal. Vermont and New York (1840) assured fugitives the right of jury trial and provided them with attorneys. Other states forbade state authorities to capture and return fugitives. After the Compromise of 1850, most Northern states enacted further guarantees of jury trials and punishment for illegal seizure. These laws were cited by proslavery interests as assaults on states' rights and as justification for secession.

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