Missouri Compromise Enacted

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1820 – Missouri Compromise Enacted

Missouri Compromise Enacted

One of the key social and economic issues facing the United States during its formative years was slavery. Although the Constitution allowed slavery and prohibited laws regarding changes in slavery from being made for the first two decades of Union, the matter of slavery in new states and territories was a pressing one. Both those in favor of slavery and those opposed sought to control the issue as new states were added to the Union. By 1819, there were eleven states that allowed slavery and eleven that did not. Thus, when Missouri applied for statehood with the intention of becoming a slave state, the tension between both sides elevated.

Congress battled over this issue until a compromise, thereafter known as the Missouri Compromise, was found. Missouri would be admitted as a slave state, and Maine would be admitted as a free state. In addition, the northern portion of the Louisiana Territory would be free of slavery while the southern portion would support it. This compromise was important because it allowed the United States to maintain peaceful relation between states while both sides of the issue sought alternatives in the long-term.

 

 

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