Can anyone detail the Missouri Compromise of 1820?
In 1818-1819 there were twenty-two states in The United States. Eleven of those states were 'slave states', and the remaining eleven were 'free states'. Although there was an underlying stress factor in the Congress everytime a new territory applied for statehood, it was held at bay until Missouri. The major concern lie in the 'balance of power' in the Congress. Up until that time power had remained equal between the slave and free states. Missouri presented a unique problem, since Missouri was west of the Mississippi River the issue of slavery or its prohibition was opened to debate simply because of its geographical location. Congressional leaders from the north and south became increasingly polarized. Enter Henry Clay of Kentucky, a man who possessed the incredible ability to suggest that compromise was better than the alternative. As a result of Clay's conciliatory arguments, the Congress accepted Missouri as a slave state adding Maine into the Union as a free state... 'A Tragedy was Narrowly Averted' In the end The Missouri Compromise was a external fix to an internal problem. The Compromise of 1850 attempted to address the north-south quagmire as gold was found in California (draw the line...California is both north and south according to the lines created in The Missouri Compromise) Followed by The Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854, a final attempt at 'a way out of war' unfortunately it backfired. This failure followed by the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision in 1857 and John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry in 1859 set the wheels in motion for the greatest war Americans would ever fight among themselves.
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