The Missouri Compromise

The Missouri Compromise


Print page



There was tension between anti-slavery and pro-slavery citizens in the western territories in the early 1800’s. In 1819, Missouri requested Congress for slavery to be permitted in their state. At the same time, Maine became a non-slave state. The Missouri Compromise was passed in the Senate on March 2, 1820 and in the House on February 26, 1821. The Missouri Compromise outlawed slavery above the 36 and 30th latitude line in the Louisiana Purchase. The compromise also encouraged people in the north to return runaway slaves to their homes This legal agreement held for 34 years until it was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.


The constitution allowed states to count each slave as 3/5 of a person for determining populations which was an advantage to Congress in the South. When California joined the Union in 1850 as a free state, southern states felt threatened because they felt like they would be out voted by Northern representatives. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which turned over the Missouri Compromise, allowed settlers to vote in a new territory for slavery that erupted violence between anti and pro slavery settlers. This violence became known as Bleeding Kansas.


There were a lot of compromises and wars to make America what it is now. If two sides come together to compromise on an equal justice, than it’s okay. Slavery was an injustice act that had to be ended which resulted in the Civil War for the fight for the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy.


United States map with Missouri Compromise Lin...
United States map with Missouri Compromise Line. Legend: Free states as of 1850 Slave states as of 1850 (not including Texas claims surrendered in Compromise of 1850) Border slave states that did not later secede in 1861 Territories (with eventual state boundaries superimposed, and including later Gadsden Purchase of 1853) Missouri Compromise Line (Photo credit: Wikipedia)