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The Missouri Compromise

The Missouri Compromise

The year was 1818 and the people of the Missouri territory were petitioning the federal government for statehood. But at the time the 22 existing states were evenly divided between free states and slave states. With more than 2000 slaves already in the Missouri territory there was pressure to make it a free state to stem the spread of slavery."The eventual solution of course was to admit Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave state and to add a proviso onto the legislation that stated Missouri's southern boundary extended all the way to the west coast would be the northern most limit of slavery going forward in the future." said Dr. Robert Archibald of the Missouri History Museum.But what would have happened if there had been no Missouri compromise?"I think they feared at the moment that the Union was going to come unglued. Then and I think had they not found the Missouri Compromise there might have been succession and civil war about 40 years earlier than it actually occurred."said Dr. Robert Archibald.At the time of the Missouri compromise Thomas Jefferson was still alive and called the debate about the it "A fire bell in the night." Even though it would be four decades until that fire began the Missouri compromise did not hold.It was repealed in 1854 by the Kansas-Nebraska Act and declared unconstitutional in 1857 as part of the Dred Scott decision. the courts ruled congress did not have the authority to prohibit slavery in the territories.

Duration: 2 min

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