• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

Thirty-First Congress: March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1851
Thirty-first Congress: March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1851
  • First session—December 3, 1849, to September 30, 1850
  • Second session—December 2, 1850, to March 3, 1851
  • Special session of the Senate—March 5, 1849, to March 23, 1849
  • (Administrations of Zachary Taylor, 1849–1850, and Millard Fillmore, 1850–1853)
Historical Background

The Mexican Cession further intensified sectional conflict in the United States. The North demanded that slavery be barred in America's new western holdings, while the South insisted on the right to expand the institution. Early in 1850, after returning to the Senate following a seven-year absence, Henry Clay introduced eight resolutions he hoped would permanently end sectional strife. He proposed admission of California as a free state; establishment of New Mexico and Utah as territories ...

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