Conflicts That Led to the Missouri CompromiseAnders AhlanderFreshmanHistorical Paper1,582 WordsThere was more available land in the country than there ever was before, giving people the chance to expand (History.com, Louisiana Purchase). The Louisiana Purchase had created an opportunity that many people had been wanting (History.com, Louisiana Purchase).
But land was not the only thing that was expanding in the United States at the time. The farming population was growing in the South because of the ever growing need for more cotton (History.com, Louisiana Purchase). More cotton was a good thing, because it created more jobs in both the North and the South, however, it also meant that the number of slaves was increasing (History.com, Missouri Compromise).
This created more conflict between the two sides within the Nation (History.com, Missouri Compromise). Congress could not help with this issue because the topic of slavery was something that was to be governed over by the individual states alone (History.com, Missouri Compromise).
After much conflict between the North and the South about state laws regarding slavery, the Missouri Compromise was established to make both sides content, making new states that were added to the Union both free and slave states.Two of the first conflicts that took place in the timeline of the Missouri Compromise were the Louisiana Purchase and the growing of Cotton. The Louisiana Purchase is known as one of President Thomas Jefferson’s most notable accomplishments, buying land from France at less than three cents an acre and almost doubling the size of United States territory (History.com, Louisiana Purchase). On April 30, 1812, the state of Louisiana was admitted into the Union, being the very first state produced from Louisiana territory (History.com, Louisiana Purchase).
Eventually, the territory would go on to make up a total of fifteen states (History.com, Louisiana Purchase). The Purchase created greater opportunities for people to expand in their country (History.com, Missouri Compromise). It created a chance for agriculture to grow as well (History.com, Missouri Compromise). There was more land for farmers to pursue and plant crops on, which was a great economical situation, however, politically it was not. The more land that farmers had to plant on and the more crops they had to take care of, the more slaves they required.
The topic of slavery was already something that everyone had a very strong opinion about so when slavery started spreading even more, it developed more tension between the Pro-slavery and the Anti slavery groups (McGill, Missouri Compromise).From the time that it began to even after the time that it ended in the U.S., slavery was always a subject that had no shortage of opinions. The Northern part of the country did not farm and was primarily comprised of people against slavery while people in the South, who relied on the work of slaves to make them money, were mostly endorsers of slavery(McGill, Missouri Compromise). Historian Sara Ann McGill said, “Since the formation of the United States, regional differences threatened the unity of the country. As early as 1787, when the Constitution was signed, the North and South argued over the issue of slavery” (McGill, Missouri Compromise).
One of the many reasons that this was a very difficult issue to address was that Congress had delegated the choice of slavery to be decided upon by each individual state government, or in other words, each state could decide on their own whether they should keep slavery or not (History.com, Missouri Compromise). The debate grew into more and more of a problem until finally a breaking point was reached when Missouri requested to be added to the Union, as a slave state (Encyclopedia Britannica, Missouri Compromise).
Missouri’s request threatened to upset the balance that the country had at the time between slave states and free states (civilwarmo.org, Missouri Compromise). Congress immediately began coming up with different ideas on what they should do (civilwarmo.org, Missouri Compromise). The heated debate ran for months (Library of Congress, Missouri Compromise).
Many Northerners argued that Congress had the power to ban slavery in the new state, while Southerners said that the new states had the same freedom as the original thirteen states and were free to choose slavery if they wanted to (History.com, Missouri Compromise). Before Congress could make their decision to accept or decline Missouri, Maine requested to be admitted to the Union as well, however unlike Missouri, Maine did not specify if they wanted to be a slave state or a free state (Encyclopedia Britannica, Missouri Compromise). Soon after, the idea for what was known as the Missouri Compromise was conceptualized (Encyclopedia Britannica, Missouri Compromise).The Missouri Compromise was the final plan that Congress came up with to make both the North and the South content and prevent further arguments about slavery (History.com, Missouri Compromise). The first thing that the bill did is it accepted Missouri into the Union, and as a slavery state as they requested (The Lehrman Institute,Missouri Compromise). The compromise in this situation is that they also accepted Maine into the Union as well, but they had Maine enter as a free state to preserve the balance of slave and free states in the country (History.
com, Missouri Compromise). After these two states were taken care of, Congress added one more law to prevent any more trouble with slavery laws(Columbia Electronic, Missouri Compromise). In the Louisiana territory, slavery was now prohibited in any states North of the 36°30′ latitude line (Columbia Electronic, Missouri Compromise). The only exception to this law was the state of Missouri itself . The entire state was located right above the boundary they had set so MIssouri was still given the permission to have slaves.
Any state in the Louisiana territory that was located South of the 36°30′ was allowed to permit slavery if they chose to do so (Columbia Electronic, Missouri Compromise). The act favored people on both sides of the argument, however, very few people were actually satisfied with the compromise.Both the North and the South were very unhappy with the Missouri Compromise (History.com, Missouri Compromise). The government had interfered with the issue of slavery whereas originally it was the state’s decision (History.com, Missouri Compromise). Many people on both sides felt that because Congress was taking care of the issue of slavery for the states, some of their state rights were being violated (History.
com, Missouri Compromise). Also, even though through the act the North had gained an opportunity to create more free states, many Northerners saw the act as the expansion of slavery (History.com, Missouri Compromise). They saw it as just the South gaining more land so they can spread slavery throughout more of the country (History.com, Missouri Compromise). The Missouri Compromise did settle down the topic of slavery, but only for a short period of time (The Lehrman Institute,Missouri Compromise).
The act helped keep the Union together for more than thirty years until it was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which established popular sovereignty for Kansas and Nebraska when they wanted to become states. Popular sovereignty was a system in which the choice of being a free or a slave state was determined locally. Three years later in 1857, the Missouri Compromise was pronounced unconstitutional because Congress was prohibited by the Fifth Amendment from depriving individuals of private property without the process of law (Gates, Missouri Compromise).
During the time of the Missouri Compromise, John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary, “Take it for granted that the present is a mere preamble—a title page to a great, tragic volume.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, Missouri Compromise). The Missouri Compromise is now known as one of the first events that led to the Civil War, the war that ended slavery in the United States (Civilwar.org, Trigger Events of the Civil War).The Missouri Compromise was a bill that Congress passed when there was much tension between the free and the slave states (History.com, Missouri Compromise). The tension began with the Louisiana Purchase, the growing need for more cotton and slaves, and new states requesting to be admitted into the Union (History.com, Louisiana Purchase).
When arguments grew over whether new states should be free or slave states, Congress came up with the Missouri Compromise (History.com, Missouri Compromise). The Compromise consisted of three parts, Missouri would be admitted to the Union as a slave state, Maine would be admitted as a free state, and any Louisiana Territory below the 36°30′ latitude line had the opportunity to become a slave state while anything above the line had to be a free state (Columbia Electronic, Missouri Compromise). Although the Missouri Compromise was created to please everyone, both the North and the South disliked the bill (History.com, Missouri Compromise). By making the bill, Congress had interfered with the issue of slavery, which at the time was a problem that was meant to be delegated by the individual states (History.com, Missouri Compromise). Because of this, many people thought that some of their state rights were being violated.
Northerners also saw the compromise as more expansion of slavery (History.com, Missouri Compromise). In the end, the Missouri Compromise held off addressing the topic of slavery for about thirty years.
Then, in 1854 it was replaced by the Kansas-Nebraska Act (The Lehrman Institute,Missouri Compromise). Today, the Missouri Compromise is believed to be one of the first causes of the Civil War (Civilwar.org, Trigger Events of the Civil War). Works Cited Gates, Larry. “Why Is the Missouri Compromise Significant?” Enotes, www.enotes.com/homework-help/why-missouri-compromise-significant-249865. Accessed 4 Dec.
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