Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave state
Slave state
In the United States of America prior to the American Civil War, a slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery was legal, whereas a free state was one in which slavery was either prohibited from its entry into the Union or eliminated over time...

s of the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). The compromise, drafted by Whig Henry Clay
Henry Clay
Henry Clay, Sr. , was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives...

 and brokered by Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas, avoided secession or civil war and reduced sectional conflict for four years.