The Missouri Compromise

The admission of the new state of Missouri as a slave state would give the slave states control over the senate. Whenever a new state was added to the union there was always a question whether the state would be slave or free. Since every state has same number of senators regardless of population the way to prevent conflict between the slave and free states was to allow each section to have the same number of states that would result in each side having the same number of senators. Since the admission of Missouri would upset this balance many leaders shared Thomas Jefferson’s fear of a war over slavery a fear that Jefferson described as a fire bell in the night. The crisis was resolved by the Compromise of 1820 that admitted Maine to the Union as a free state at the same time that Missouri was admitted as a slave state. The Compromise also banned slavery in the Louisiana Purchase territory north and west of the state of Missouri a compromise that preserved the peace until the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 repealed this ban on slavery.