Importance Of The Missouri Compromise Of 1820
The Missouri Compromise in 1820 allowed Missouri to become a slave state and Maine to become a free state. This way, the number of free and salve states in America would become equal leading to a balanced share of power in the House without any particular region benefiting at the expense of the other.
While the Southern states were in favor of slavery, the Northern states vehemently opposed the idea. An expansion of slavery would have meant an increase in the territorial space and population. This in turn would give the Southern states increased power in the House.
The southern states on the other hand had a much lesser white population as opposed to the Northern states. Three fifths of the U.S. House of Representatives had black population and the remaining had white population. An approval of Missouri as a slave state would have increased the southern representation making the Northern states insecure. When the Bill for approval of Missouri as a slave state was brought up in the House, James Tallmadge of New York brought about an amendment that would allow emancipation of slavery at the age of 25. This amendment however was not approved because of the large Southern representation.
When Maine applied for statehood, Henry Clay seized the opportunity and accepted Maine as a free state. At the same time, he also approved Missouri as a slave state. This balanced the number of free states and slave states in the country. He also limited the slave borders to the 36° 30′ north latitude.
Although the Missouri Compromise seemed to prevent an internal conflict in the region, the Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854 repelled the Missouri Compromise leading to the onset of Civil War in the country.
More Articles :