California State was admitted into the Union of States known as the United States on September 9, 1850 as the 31st state in the Union. “An Act for the Admission of the State of California into the Union.”
California’s statehood came as the result of a series of five laws passed in September of 1850 that dealt with the issue of slavery and territorial expansion. In 1849 California requested permission to enter the Union as a free state, potentially upsetting the balance between the free and slave states in the U.S. Senate. Senator Henry Clay introduced a series of resolutions on January 29, 1850, in an attempt to seek a compromise and avert a crisis between North and South.
As part of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was amended and the slave trade in Washington, D.C., was abolished. Furthermore, California entered the Union as a free state and a territorial government was created in Utah. In addition, an act was passed settling a boundary dispute between Texas and New Mexico that also established a territorial government in New Mexico.
Compromise of 1850: Acts
- An Act to amend, and supplementary to, the Act entitled “An Act respecting Fugitives from Justice, and Persons escaping from the Service of their Masters,” approved February twelfth, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.
- An Act to suppress the Slave Trade in the District of Columbia.
- An Act for the Admission of the State of California into the Union.
- An Act to establish a Territorial Government for Utah.
- An Act proposing to the State of Texas the Establishment of her Northern and Western Boundaries, the Relinquishment by the said State of all Territory claimed by her exterior to said Boundaries, and of all her Claims upon the United States…
From “Statutes at Large, 31st Congress, 1st Session,” A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875.
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