Several other pro slavery laws were also passed by Democrats in Congress, including the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law. That law required Northerners to return escaped slaves back into slavery or else pay huge fines. In many instances, the law became little more than an excuse for southern slave hunters to kidnap Free Blacks in the North and carry them into slavery in the South, for if a black was simply accused of being a slave, under the Fugitive Slave Law he was denied the benefit of both a jury trial and the right of habeas corpus despite the fact that those rights had been explicitly guaranteed by the Constitution.
Because the Fugitive Slave Law became little more than a law to sanction kidnapping, whenever a slave-hunter entered a State such as Massachusetts, broadsides were printed to warn black Americans about this threat to their freedom. Such broadsides were published when it was learned that a slave hunter had come north. The anti-slavery States wanted to make sure that every poster were printed to warn blacks about southern kidnappers and slave hunters black American in the North could take cover so they would not be kidnapped and taken to slavery in the South.
Because the Fugitive Slave Law allowed Free Blacks to be carried into slavery, this law was disastrous for blacks in the North; and as a consequence of the atrocious provisions of this Democratic law, some 20,000 blacks in the North left the United States and fled to Canada. In fact, the Underground Railroad reached the height of its activity during this period, helping thousands of slaves escape from slavery in the South all the way out of the United States and into Canada simply to escape the reach of the Democrats’ Fugitive Slave Law.
In 1854, the democratically controlled Congress passed another law strengthening slavery: the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Even though Democrats in Congress had already expanded the federal territories in which slavery was permitted through their passage of the Missouri Compromise, they had retained a ban on slavery in the Kansas-Nebraska territory. But through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Democrats the Underground Railroad moved thousands of black Americans to safety repealed those earlier restrictions, thus allowing slavery to be introduced into parts of the new territory where it previously had been forbidden, thereby increasing the national area in which slavery would be permitted.
This law led to what was called “bleeding Kansas,” where pro slavery forces came pouring into that previously slave free territory and began fighting violent battles against the anti slavery inhabitants of the territory. The Kansas Nebraska territory covered much of what is now the upper United States Following the passage of these pro-slavery laws in Congress, in May of 1854 a number of the anti-slavery Democrats in Congress along with some anti slavery members from other political parties, including the Whigs, Free Soilers, and Emancipationists formed a new political party to fight slavery and secure equal civil rights for black Americans.
David Barton – Does that church worship God? Yes. I was in a church the other day that had about 25 members and a little guitar