A nation divided
Missouri Compromise (1820)
In 1820 the number of free states and slave states was equal. The Missouri Territory was applying to become a state.
They want to become a slave state. Northerners didn't want to have more slave states than free, and southerners want slavery to expand into the western territories.
If Missouri becomes a slave state, the number will be unequal and slavery might expand even farther. If Missouri becomes a free state, the number of those states will increase and slavery might end, hurting the south's plantation economy. After much debate, Henry Clay of Kentucky, wrote the Missouri Compromise.
The Missouri Compromise allowed Missouri to enter as a slave state, while Maine (formerly part of Massachusetts) was to enter as a free state. This kept the balance at 12 states each. The Missouri compromise also drew an imaginary line at 36 degrees 30 minutes North latitude.
It stated that north of that line slavery was banned, except in Missouri, and south of that line slavery was permitted. The conflict over slavery was put to rest for the time being, but sectionalism continued to grow, and the North and the South grew further apart.
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