The Path to Freedom: The Fugitive Slave Act

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Finally they were free. After months of traveling and hiding, not knowing if they would be caught, they finally made it to the North. Their trip would have ended there if it had not been for the Fugitive Slave Act. This act stated that the people in the North were required by law to return runaway slaves. This made it necessary for runaway slaves to endure more difficult terrain to reach their ultimate goal, Canada. Not only did slaves want to be free, but many Americans also thought that slavery was wrong and wanted it abolished. Slavery was an issue throughout the 1800’s in America, and it was highly debated and eventually resolved by a terrible and bloody Civil War. Due to the desire of some Americans to abolish slavery, the Underground Railroad was established, leading to a strict Fugitive Slave Act. Throughout the 1800’s in America, abolitionists worked day and night to end slavery. The abolitionists studied and invoked the Constitution to find new ways to argue against slavery. One of the most famous abolitionists was Frederick Douglass. He was an African-American social reformer and orator that fought against slavery. He escaped from slavery and later educated himself. He gave speeches, wrote books, and protested against slavery for most of his life. Many white people also protested against slavery including John Fairfield. He was the son of a slaveholding family, and he made daring rescues to aid runaway slaves. Even Though it bankrupted his family, he acted on what he believed, even if other people did not support his beliefs. Throughout this time period, abolitionists worked endlessly to help slaves, and in the process they helped create a system to lead slaves into the North. The Underground Railroad made it possible f... ... middle of paper ... ...broke out. Many fought for what they believed in, and many lives were lost. When the North prevailed, the struggle was over, leading to a better country. Amendments were made to the constitution, banning slavery and freeing forever thousands of enslaved Americans. The Underground Railroad was a critical beacon of hope for the slaves, and without it all would have been lost. Works Cited Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty. "Underground Railroad." A&E Television Networks, 1+9991. Web. 30 Oct. 2013 Deverell, William, and Deborah G. White. United States History. Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart and .…Winston, 2007. Print. Pages 418-20 Landau, Elaine. Fleeing to Freedom on the Underground Railroad: The Courageous Slaves, ….Agents, and Conductors. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century, 2006. Print. "The Underground Railroad." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.

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