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The Missouri Compromise

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The Missouri Compromise was the result of the first debate in Congress concerning the spread of slavery, occurring in 1819-1820. When Missouri applied for admission into the Union, many in Congress objected to Missouri's admission as a slave state, supporting the Tallmadge Amendment that would have made gradual emancipation a condition for admission. When the Senate and the House could not agree on whether to pass the bill with or without the Tallmadge Amendment (the slave states had more influence in the Senate), Henry Clay proposed a compromise that brought Missouri into the Union as a slave state on the condition that Maine also be brought in as a free state and that all territories in the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36˚30 parallel be closed to slavery.

While many congratulated Henry Clay on a job well done, Thomas Jefferson worried greatly from his retirement at Monticello. He believed that the Missouri debate would only be the first of several debates regarding slavery and its expansion. While an opponent of the idea of slavery in the abstract, he did not see a path toward a practical end of slavery in the immediate future. With Jefferson's predictions coming true and the period between 1820-1860 being filled with debates concerning slavery, historians have often placed the Missouri Compromise at the beginning of the Antebellum (Before the War) Period.

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The Missouri Compromise

  1. 1. THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE America’s First Slavery Debate
  2. 2. OF STATES
  3. 3. Photo by Alan Light
  4. 4. Photo by Libido Lounge “New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union…” U.S. Constitution (Art. 4) The Pledging Process
  5. 5. Missouri applies for admission into the Union as a SLAVE STATE. Icon by Ted Grajeda The Noun Project 1819
  6. 6. Tallmadge Amendment "And provided, That the further introduction of slavery or involuntary servitude be prohibited… and that all children born within the said State, after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be free at the age of twenty-five years." Rep. James Tallmadge (R- NY) 1819
  7. 7. Tallmadge Amendment Missouri can be admitted to the Union upon accepting GRADUAL EMANCIPATION Rep. James Tallmadge (R- NY) 1819
  8. 8. PARITY Slave States Free States Delaware Georgia Maryland South Carolina Virginia North Carolina Kentucky Tennessee Louisiana Mississippi New Jersey Pennsylvania Connecticut Massachusetts New Hampshire New York Rhode Island Vermont Ohio Indiana Illinois Balance Between Slave and Free States
  9. 9. PARITY Balance Between Slave and Free States 1820 - 1850
  10. 10. TRAJECTORY NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  11. 11. Some rights reserved by National Museum of American History Northwest Ordinance in Northwest Territories
  12. 12. Alabama admitted as a SLAVE STATE without fanfare. Icon by Ted Grajeda The Noun Project 1819 Photo by James Willamor
  13. 13. PARITY Slave States Free States Delaware Georgia Maryland South Carolina Virginia North Carolina Kentucky Tennessee Louisiana Mississippi Alabama New Jersey Pennsylvania Connecticut Massachusetts New Hampshire New York Rhode Island Vermont Ohio Indiana Illinois Balance Between Slave and Free States
  14. 14. Bicameralism SENATE Passed without Tallmadge Amendment Photo by Martin Falbisoner HOUSE
  15. 15. Bicameralism SENATE Passed with Tallmadge Amendment Passed without Tallmadge Amendment Photo by Martin Falbisoner HOUSE
  16. 16. Bicameralism SENATE Passed with Tallmadge Amendment Passed without Tallmadge Amendment CONFERENCE Photo by Martin Falbisoner HOUSE
  17. 17. HENRY CLAY U.S. Senator (Kentucky)
  18. 18. THE GREAT COMPROMISER
  19. 19. Clay’s proposal: Admit Missouri as a Slave State. Admit Maine as a Free State. Prohibit slavery in the territories of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36˚30’ parallel.
  20. 20. Bicameralism SENATE Passed WITH Clay’s Compromise Proposal Passed WITH Clay’s Compromise Proposal Photo by Martin Falbisoner HOUSE
  21. 21. 36˚30’
  22. 22. 36˚30’ Map Credit: Golbez
  23. 23. HAPPILY EVER AFTER
  24. 24. nope
  25. 25. THE SAGE of Monticello Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes 22 April 1820
  26. 26. “This momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror…”
  27. 27. “I considered it at once as the knell of the Union.”
  28. 28. Photo by Vladimer Shioshvili n. the sound of a bell, especially when rung solemnly for a death or funeral.
  29. 29. “It is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. a geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.”
  30. 30. I can say with conscious truth that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would, to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way. Johnson Eastman, The Lord is My Shepherd (1863)
  31. 31. Johnson Eastman, The Lord is My Shepherd (1863) A general emancipation and expatriation could be effected: and, gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be.
  32. 32. Photo by Neil McIntosh 20 Latin Phrases You Should Be Using (Mental Floss)
  33. 33. Michelle Mikiefsky Used With Permission http://windward.hawaii.ed u/facstaff/miliefsky-m
  34. 34. “I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifice of themselves, by the generation of ‘76. to acquire self government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons…”
  35. 35. “My only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it. if they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves and of treason against the hopes of the world.”
  36. 36. ANTEBELLUM 1820-1860
  37. 37. A South Carolina Perspective… During the debate, Charles Pinckney (SC) defended slavery as a positive good. Pinckney’s opinions did not hold much water outside of South Carolina at the time, but as Northerners continued to criticize slavery, more Southerners began to defend the institution. Pinckney’s Speech Pinckney
  38. 38. LET’S REVIEW: Admit Missouri as a Slave State. Admit Maine as a Free State. Prohibit slavery in the territories of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36˚30’ parallel.

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