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Analyze the Circumstances Leading to the Missouri Compromise

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 449
  • Category: Slavery

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The expansion of the western borders and territories caused concern for the Northern states. First, the Southern states were extremely in favor of slavery. And second, the increasing population and expansion of territories in the Southern region made the Northern regions uncertain. They were afraid of the Southern states outnumbering the Northern states in the House of Representatives, leading to a shift of power in the country. After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the United States nearly doubled in size. (Doc.7) When we received this land, cotton plantation owners in the South saw this as a great chance to make large profits, but in order to grow more cotton in the new land, many more slaves were needed. The North was against the extension of slavery, and they did not approve of the South extending slavery to the new lands. In addition, if the South was to extend slavery westward,(Doc.4 and 6) more states would be established, which meant more votes would come from the West during elections, which possibly could of resulted in the North losing political power, which they greatly feared. (Doc.8) As a result of these events, the South wanted to extend slavery to the West and increase the demand for slaves, while the North disagreed with the South extending slavery and losing political power.

The Southern regions were successful due to prosperous cotton farming in the region. Because of this, they wanted a large number of slaves to be able to take care of the lands. The Northern states were afraid that this would bring about disproportion in the country due to more number of slaves states than free states in the region. They also wanted complete abolishment of slavery in the country. In order to prevent a civil war from unfolding in a young country, the Missouri Compromise was passed. (Doc.3) The state of Missouri would be declared as a slave state. At the same time, Maine would be welcomed as a free state. This balanced the number of free and slave states in the region, putting to rest rumors and insecurity between the Southern and Northern states. The circumstances leading to the Missouri Compromise included: The introduction of new land in the West due to the Louisiana Purchase. Second circumstance that leads to the Missouri Compromise was the disagreement of both North and South on the extension to slavery and the imbalance between slave states-free states. On the other hand, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was also a great example of collaboration between the North and South during a troublesome period, as well as the peaceful settlement of something that was of great importance to the Northern and Southern States.

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