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America Debates Slavery: The Missouri Compromise (1820) A James Monroe Museum Virtual Exhibit Image Credit: Robert K. Griffin “The Liberian Senate,” Library.

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Presentation on theme: "America Debates Slavery: The Missouri Compromise (1820) A James Monroe Museum Virtual Exhibit Image Credit: Robert K. Griffin “The Liberian Senate,” Library."— Presentation transcript:

1 America Debates Slavery: The Missouri Compromise (1820) A James Monroe Museum Virtual Exhibit Image Credit: Robert K. Griffin “The Liberian Senate,” Library of Congress

2 Introduction The United States had debated slavery since its founding. However, tensions over the issue were growing by the time of Monroe’s presidency. As the U.S. expanded, the question of new statehood brought slavery to the forefront once again. Would new states allow slavery or not? This exhibit will explore two ways Americans addressed slavery and its effects during this time: the American Colonization Society and the Missouri Compromise.

3 Background The American Colonization Society was founded in They believed that free blacks would never be able to integrate into American society. Instead, they proposed sending free blacks to West Africa, in a new colony: Liberia. Monroe, among fellow politicians, supported the American Colonization Society. The capital of Liberia was named Monrovia in his honor.

4 |Exhibit| Clink to Enter the Archive

5 |Reading Primary Sources|

6 What were some of the goals of the early abolition movement, as seen in the ACS constitution? What aspect(s) of the effects of slavery did they address?

7 American Colonization Society Publication, 1820

8 Why do you think the American Colonization Society chose to print this letter in its publication? What themes appeared to you in the letter as arguments for colonization? What can you deduce about the author? How would more information be helpful?

9 |Reading the Document| The Author John Kizell was a first-generation African American who was sold into slavery in Charleston, South Carolina. He, along with 1,200 other African Americans, migrated to Sierra Leone where he led the settlement of a colony. He was a Baptist preacher and an agent for the American Colonization Society. How does this information about the author of the document impact your interpretation of it?

10 The American Colonization Society proposed repatriation as a solution to the problems even free blacks faced in America. James Monroe supported the Society, although their plans never saw full realization in the United States. The Missouri Compromise became America’s attempt at addressing slavery during Monroe’s presidency.

11 |The Missouri Compromise| Missouri wanted to be admitted to the Union as a slave state, which would upset the balance between slave and free states. The Missouri Compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state. It also drew a regional line at 36°30’, dividing the Louisiana Territory into free states in the North and slave states in the South.

12 Reading a Primary Source Mr. Smyth to the House of Representatives Jan. 28, 1820.

13 Reading a Primary Source What was Mr. Smyth’s opinion on slavery in new territories? On what basis does he make his argument? What evidence does he give to support his opinion? The Missouri Compromise passed in March, about a month after Mr. Smyth’s speech. How do you think he would have reacted to it?

14 |Questions for Discussion| Do you agree or disagree with the American Colonization Society’s plan? Why? How effective was the Missouri Compromise?


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