How did the Missouri Compromise attempt to soothe the growing disputes over slavery?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The dispute that eventually led to the Missouri Compromise involved the question of whether Missouri should be admitted as a slave state or a free state (i.e. a state where slavery was outlawed.) Representative James Tallmadge had introduced a measure that would ban slavery in the new state, and Southerners worried that the balance of states in the Senate would be tilted in favor of northern states, who already had an advantage in the House of Representatives due to their much larger population. The Missouri Compromise resolved the ensuing debate by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, thus preserving the sectional balance in the Senate. To resolve the issue for the future, the compromise also stipulated that slavery would be outlawed in the Louisiana Territory north of a line drawn at 36° 30 latitude. The issue would emerge again, with even more intensity, in 1850 over the admission of California. The Compromise itself was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, and declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford three years later.

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