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Missouri Compromise

 Related Terms

• Henry Clay
James Monroe


Definition: Agreement put forward by Henry Clay that allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state and Maine to enter the Union as a free state. The Compromise also drew an imaginary line at 36 degrees 30 minutes north latitude, dividing the new Louisiana Territory into two areas, one north and one south. All of the Louisiana Territory north of this line was free territory, meaning that any territories that became states from this area would enable African-Americans to be free. The Compromise also encouraged people in the north to return runaway slaves to their homes and did not prohibit slavery, even in the free territories.

Related Resources:
The Missouri Compromise
Even more details and background on this historic compromise

The 19th Century
An overview of the time in which the Missouri Compromise was passed

Elsewhere on the Web:
Details of the Compromise
Find out the details and the backdrop for this important government act.

Free Soil/Slave Soil Map
Very helpful map showing which states allowed slavery and which states didn't, along with Spanish Mexico and the rest of the present-day United States.

Text of the Missouri Compromise
Read for yourself how this Compromise was worded.

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