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The Missouri Compromise - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Missouri Compromise

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  1. The Missouri Compromise Goals: To understand the tensions between the North and the South To understand how a compromise only delayed the inevitable

  2. Now, about that slavery thing… • Slavery and labor-intensive crops were staples in the South for roughly 100 years • The North grew more and more annoyed with the institution • As more states applied for statehood, whether they were to be slave or free states became increasingly important

  3. The Balance of Power • Between 1816-1819, four states were admitted to the Union • Indiana and Illinois were admitted as free states • Alabama and Mississippi were admitted as slave states • This balance would be upset as the country grew into the Louisiana Purchase

  4. Upsetting the Balance • The Union had 11 free states and 11 slave states • Missouri applied for statehood as a slave state • Allowing Missouri in as a slave state would upset the balance in Congress • Slavery had been a hot topic since the creation of the Constitution

  5. Pros and Cons • Defenders of slavery claimed that it was beneficial for economic reasons • Abolitionists argued that slavery contradicted the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence • Both pro-slavery and abolitionist Americans were willing to resort to violence to achieve their goals

  6. “Okay, then, each side gets a state!” • Since Congress was split, they decided to add one slave state and one free state • Maine became a free state • Missouri became a slave state • Henry Clay was the architect of the Missouri Compromise and worked hard to preserve the Union

  7. Details of the Missouri Compromise • Missouri was admitted as a slave state • Maine was admitted as a free state • Slavery was forbidden north of the 36 degree latitude mark, the southern boundary of Missouri • People in the North were encouraged to return runaway slaves to their masters • Slavery was not prohibited anywhere, not even in the free territories

  8. Putting Off the Inevitable • This compromise kept the argument at bay, but it didn’t do anything to cure the problem • This course of action eventually put Congress in a very difficult spot within the next 30 years • The US was going to have to make a conclusive decision about slavery sooner or later