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Was the Missouri Compromise a band-aid or a solution?In 1820 there were 11 free states...

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 24, 2008 at 8:28 PM via web

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Was the Missouri Compromise a band-aid or a solution?

In 1820 there were 11 free states and 11 slave states, the balance of power in Congress was at best numerically equal. When Missouri petitioned for statehood a question arose. Would Missouri enter the union as a slave state or a free state? The lines were drawn, the nation stood at a crossroads.Tipping the balance of power in either direction would result in major Congressional obstacles and lead to further divisions between the already divided north and south. Did Henry Clay's "compromise" to extend statehood to Maine as a free state to counter Missouri as a slave state really address the issue of American slavery, or fuel its intensity?

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bgl5704 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 24, 2008 at 10:04 PM (Answer #2)

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Missouri originally tried to adopt the neutral position in worsening conditions of the United States. But it was known that sooner or later Missouri was going to be seceded into the slave states. The reaseon for this is because Missouri was the second largest slave state at the time, second only to Virginia.

Missouri had a staggering 1.2 million in population. And the eventual inclusion of Missouri into the slave states gave a large boost in not only man power but also access to key water ways in the south. These water ways were also key access points that connected the most Union states from the west side of the country. Lastly, Missouri was in a great flanking position to some Union states. 

This act of succession of the state of Missouri for sure fueled the intensity between the two sides. And the addition of Maine into the Union did not equalize anything compared to what the union lost in Missouri.  

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 26, 2008 at 4:27 PM (Answer #3)

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Missouri originally tried to adopt the neutral position in worsening conditions of the United States. But it was known that sooner or later Missouri was going to be seceded into the slave states. The reaseon for this is because Missouri was the second largest slave state at the time, second only to Virginia.

Missouri had a staggering 1.2 million in population. And the eventual inclusion of Missouri into the slave states gave a large boost in not only man power but also access to key water ways in the south. These water ways were also key access points that connected the most Union states from the west side of the country. Lastly, Missouri was in a great flanking position to some Union states. 

This act of succession of the state of Missouri for sure fueled the intensity between the two sides. And the addition of Maine into the Union did not equalize anything compared to what the union lost in Missouri.  

It is true that Missouri was a 'prize' for southern slave states,it would enter the union as one. However anything north of the invisible 'Mason-Dixon line', (36-30 longitude,latitude) Congress could have a say. The north and the south compromised here. No side 'won' here, which is why the question of a 'band-aid' is proposed. At best the relationship between the north and south was headed for disaster.

Thank you for responding to my topic...D

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 17, 2010 at 2:56 PM (Answer #4)

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You answer your own question, dbello, when you say that this was a no win situation - given the complex contextual factors of the time, Missouri did seem to fuel the inevitable disaster with the issue of its inclusion. Clearly Missouri was a key strategic territory for a number of reasons and thus did not dampen the issues that were burning up.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 23, 2010 at 12:11 AM (Answer #5)

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With an ever expanding America, there wasn't really any way that the Missouri Compromise could do more than postpone the inevitable coming war. As long as we were adding territory and slaves, there wasn't a practical long term way to avoid the coming war.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 2, 2011 at 10:44 PM (Answer #6)

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It was both. Politics is all about compromise. In a country close to war, it was an ingenious solution. It did not last because war was inevitable at some point. The Missouri Compromise was a temporary measure.

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