Missouri Compromise Day is observed annually on March 3, commemorating the day in 1820 when Congress approved the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri Compromise was a law that maintained a balance between free and slave states in the Senate. The 16th United States Congress passed this new piece of legislation on March 3, 1820, and President James Monroe signed it on March 6 of the same year. Free states were those in which slavery had been abolished, while slave states were those in which it remained legal. However, the Missouri Compromise only lasted for 34 years. As a result of the American Civil War, this compromise came to an end.
The background of Missouri Compromise Day
In 1819, the Missouri issue was brought up for discussion in the 15th Congress. The discussion ended in a stalemate, with the House taking an anti-slavery position and the Senate a pro-slavery position.
In 1820, in the midst of escalating tensions over the issue of slavery, the U.S. Congress passed a law declaring Missouri a slave state and Maine a free state. The law prohibited slavery in all other Louisiana Purchase lands north of the 36o 30′ parallel.
This statute was called the Missouri Compromise. This law remained in effect for 34 years before the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 repealed it. During the formation of Kansas and Nebraska Territories in 1854, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which stipulated that the settlers of each territory should decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery. This was the fundamental tenet of popular sovereignty. By allowing slavery in the region north of the 36o 30′ parallel, the controversial law effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise. This resulted in violence between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers. The opposition to this Act resulted in the formation of the Republican Party and the emergence of Douglas’s rival, an attorney named Abraham Lincoln, who was previously unknown.
In the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court ruled the Missouri compromise unconstitutional in 1857. People believed that the American Civil War would either tear the union apart or lead to the formation of a new union as a result of these tensions.
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5 FACTS CONCERNING THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE
Clay, a Kentucky senator, was the originator of the Missouri Compromise.
Prior to the passage of the Missouri Compromise, there was a great deal of tension between the slave states and the free states in the United States.
The Missouri Compromise Line was the invisible line that divided the United States into slave states in the South and free states in the North.
Missouri and Maine became the twenty-third and twenty-fourth states in 1821.
Passed in 1865, following the end of the Civil War, this amendment contributed to the permanent abolition of slavery in the United States.
MISSOURI COMPROMISE DAY DATES