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A nation more clearly defined18200306 missouricompromisesigned

As the new nation expanded after the Louisiana Purchase the central issue of free versus slave state that dominated the 1787 constitutional convention emanated. The Missouri territory petitioned for statehood in 1819. Its citizens felt they should self determine on the slavery issue. If the state chose slavery, the balance between free and slave state would lean toward slave. A delicate compromise was reached, that included creating Maine out of Massachusets, where people there wanted their own state. The compromise both set the stage for the American Civil War and delayed it. The compromise solidified racial and North/South divisions that in may ways still remain an active factor in US history.

The 1820 Missouri Compromise at History Rocket