THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE 1820
In 1819 Congress had to decide with the admission of Missouri to the United States if it should be a slave or free state. Southern members of the Congress where slavery was an important economic base were concerned that if Congress could prevent slavery in Missouri it could prevent it elsewhere. Northern members of Congress were concerned that the addtion of another slave state would increase southern power in congress.
After much debate the Missouri Compromise was agreed on. It allowed Missouri to be a slave state but at the same time the state of Maine was created out of northern Massachucetts and admitted as a free state. This was an effort to keep a balance of free and slave states. In addition it was agreed that as the country expanded westward that states north of 36 30 ' would be free states. This was an attempt to avoid problems between the north and south but was only temporarily successful.
Copyright ©2000 SCORE. Silvia Salem, San Bernardino City Schools Unified School District