Free and Slave State Conflicts

Travis Fulcher


Free and slave states were constantly conflicting with each other after the start of the Mexican War. The disputes varied over claiming territory, policy changes, and declaring acts regarding the rights of slaves. Texas was a big topic of discussion because it claimed such a large territory as a slave state. This was an edgy move, caused by the 1820 Missouri  Compromise, and sparked a lot of discussion and conflict. The 36 degrees 30 minutes north issue, Compromise of 1850, and Missouri Compromise all contributed to the fire between the free and slave states.

Compromise of 1850

The compromise of 1850 was five separate bills that settled a four-year confrontation between free states in the north and slave states in the south over the territory acquired from the Mexican American war. Several disputes occurred over this mystery of whose land this all was.  Some of the results of the compromise include Texas giving up a lot of the western land that it claimed and receiving a compensation of $10,000,000 to pay off its debt, California was admitted as a free state, the slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia and Washington, D.C. along with many other results.

Missouri Compromise

When two new states joined the United States, one would have to be a slave state and one would be a free state. When Missouri and Maine joined the United States, both new states were above the 36' 30 parallel. The Missouri compromise allowed Missouri to become a slave state. Even though the majority of Missouri lies north of the 36'30 parallel, slave owners in the southeast of Missouri supported slaver because of the cotton that was grown there.

36 Degrees 30 minutes

36' 30 was that latitude line that divided the United States into two parts. In the states south of the parallel slavery was legal while in all of the states north of the parallel slavery was illegal. The 36'30 parallel creates most of the boarders between Kentucky and Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas, and Oklahoma and Texas.

Tallmadge Amendment

The Tallmadge Amendment was a bill that was proposed by James Tallmadge to amend the Missouri enabling legislation by making the further introduction of slavery in to Missouri illegal. So any child born of slave parents should be set free by the age of 25. The House adopted the amendment but the Senate didn't. The Missouri compromise of 1820 settled it.

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