Slavery Issues in America

The Missouri Compromise was made to keep the balance politically between the free states and slave states. It said that Missouri would be admitted as a slave state and Maine would be admitted as a free state. This resulted in an even amount of slave states and free states. The Missouri Compromise also stated that all new states north of the 36 degree 30' line would be free and states south of that line would be slave states. The Tallmadge Amendment limited slavery in Missouri. From then on no more slaves were allowed in Missouri and slaves born in Missouri would gradually emancipate. The Compromise of 1850 was a set of five different bills passed in the U.S that defused the four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and free states of the North. All of these events were an attempt to balance and to delay conflict between the free states and the slave states.

The first and second pictures show the division between the free states and the slave states as well as the 36 degree 30' line.  The third picture shows the provisions of the Compromise of 1850.

Primary Source

SEC. 8. "And be it further enacted. That in all that territory ceded by France to the United States, under the name of Louisiana, which lies north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude, not included within the limits of the state, contemplated by this act, slavery and involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the parties shall have been duly convicted, shall be, and is hereby, forever prohibited: Provided always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labour or service is lawfully claimed, in any state or territory of the United States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labour or service as aforesaid."

From the Transcript of Missouri Compromise, March 6, 1820

This source describes the provisions of the Missouri Compromise.  The compromise sets limits to slavery and it gives slave owners the right to recapture their runaway slaves.   

Long-range Significance

The Missouri Compromise lasted for about 26 years.  In the future, new land would open up in Mexico and people would argue about whether or not the new land would be free.  The Compromise of 1850 settled the slavery issues for only a short period of time.  It delayed the start of the Civil War until 1861.      

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