MISSOURI COMPROMISE

Contents:
1. Who Was Involved?
2. Missouri's Petition for Statehood
3. Tallmadge's Resolution
4. Missouri and Maine Enter the Union
5. The "Original" Missouri Compromise
6. Impact on the Civil War
Who Was Involved?
James Tallmadge
James Tallmadge

- James Monroe- president at the time
- Congressman James Tallmadge of NY - proposed the initial resolution, which did not pass
- John Scott - Missouri delegate to Congress
- Senator Jesse Thomas - proposed the line that would divide the Louisiana Purchase into slave and free states
- Henry Clay - proposed an amendment to Missouri's state constitution that called free blacks citizens, not slaves; proposed that Missouri and Maine enter the Union simultaneously
Missouri's Petition For Statehood

Missouri first petitioned for statehood in 1818, and the issue of slavery was brought to light once again. According to Thomas Jefferson, it was "as though a fire bell had rung in the night". Suddenly America realized the problem they had on their hands. Congress debated whether states formed from the Louisiana Purchase land should be slave states or free states. Missouri's entrance into the Union, which at the time had an equal number of free and slave states, would throw the government off balance and give slave states a 12 to 11 advantage.
Tallmadge's Resolution

James Tallmadge of NY proposed a resolution: no new slaves would be admitted to the state, and the children of slaves would be freed upon turning 25. Southern states understandably hated this, arguing that the Constitution did not give Congress the power to do this. Senator Rufus King of New York replied that the Constitution did not restrict Congress on any issues related to slavery in new states. However, Senator William Pinckney of Maryland argued that newly forming states should be given the same rights as the old states - in other words, that they should get to choose for themselves whether or not they supported slavery. His argument was strong, and in the end the resolution did not pass in the Senate.
Missouri and Maine Enter The Union

Since Congress had made no progress on Tallmadge’s resolution, the bill was reconsidered when the 16th Congress convened in December 1819. At this point, Maine (carved out of the Norther part of Massachusetts) had also applied for statehood. Congress decided to admit both without restrictions such as those created by Tallmadge’s resolution, creating a balance of 12 free states and 12 slave states. Picture1.jpg
The "Original" Missouri Compromise

In reality, however, the title "Missouri Compromise" refers to a resolution suggested by Senator Jesse Thomas to settle potential future disagreements over the formation of states in the Louisiana Purchaseterritory. He sketched an imaginary line across the territory to divide future free states from future slave states. The line was drawn at a latitude of 36 degrees 30 minutes north, and is marked on the map to the right as the "Missouri Compromise Line". It was essentially Missouri's southern border, and any states north of this line other than Missouri would be free states. Any states to the south would be slave states. The success of this compromise was partially due to the urgings of president James Monroe and Senator Barbour of Virginia, who feared that northern Federalists were promoting restrictions in order to split the Republicans, therefore making the Federalist party a legitimate opposition party again. By exaggerating the possible Federalist threat, Monroe and Barbour convinced the Southern states to support the Compromise.
Impact on the Civil War

The Missouri Compromise settled the debate for the moment, but it was not the end of the issue. Southerners were angry because the compromise allowed for only one new slave state (Arkansas) to be formed out of the unorganized Louisiana Purchase Land, while many free states could be formed, as shown on the map. Slavery had been brought to everyone's attention, and there was no way to back out now. The nation was headed for war.
Works Referenced

http://blueandgraytrail.com/event/Missouri_Compromise_(Compromise_of_1820)
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3h511.html
http://history-world.org/missouri%20Compromise.htm
http://www.knowsouthernhistory.net/Biographies/James_Monroe/james_4.jpg
http://millercenter.org/president/events/03_06