If you were a national legislator during 1819 what would you have suggested be done with Missouri in terms of its desire to enter the union? Explain how you would have dealt with the issue of slavery regarding this state.
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The answer to this question depends a lot on whether you see yourself as a Northern or a Southern legislator. It also depends on whether you see yourself as a pragmatist or an idealist.
If you see yourself as a Northern idealist, you would presumably want slavery to be banned in Missouri. You would note that it was north of the Ohio River and you would say that that river is the boundary for slavery in the United States. You would say that slave owners should not be allowed to compete with those who work for themselves or who hire people to work for them. If you were really an idealist, you would say that slavery is immoral and should not be extended.
If you see yourself as a Southern idealist, you would say that Missouri should be admitted as a slave state with no concessions to the North. To you, slaves are property and the Constitution clearly establishes the right to own slaves. There is no legitimate reason that Congress should tell you that you cannot bring your property to Missouri any more than it could prevent you from bringing your horse or cattle. There is no need to compromise because this is a matter of principle.
If you were a pragmatist from either section, you would probably suggest something like the Missouri Compromise that Congress actually ended up passing. You would recognize that both North and South had legitimate points of view and that some sort of compromise was needed. You would think that extremism on either side would cause problems. You would worry that the country would be likely to break apart if both sides did not give in to the other in some way.
Which of these do you think you would have done?
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