2 Free or Slave State? Free State – No Slavery Allowed Each time a group of settlers asked to join the Union as a new state, a decision had to be made:Free State – No Slavery AllowedSlave State – Slavery Permitted*For a time there were as many free states as slave states. This kept a balance between the North and South.
3 A Problem DevelopsIn 1819, settlers in the Missouri Territory asked to join the Union as a slave state.If this happened, slave states would outnumber free states.The Missouri question became a heated debate that dragged on for months.
4 Henry Clay to the Rescue Henry Clay worked on this problem for months.Henry Clay owned slaves but did not want to see the question of slavery tear the nation apart.He persuaded Congress to agree to a compromise.
5 Missouri Compromise of 1820 Under Clay’s plan Missouri would be allowed to join the Union as a slave state.Maine would join as a free state.This would keep the balance between free and slave states.An imaginary line would divide the lands of the Louisiana Purchase.North of the line would be free states and south of the line would be slave states.
7 Results of the Compromise The Missouri Compromise kept peace for nearly 30 years.During this time six new states joined the Union, but the number of free and slave states remained equal.Henry Clay’s plan helped to avoid conflict in the Union until 1848.
8 California – Free State After the War with Mexico, settlers in California asked to join the Union as a free state in 1848.Henry Clay once again found himself in the middle of an argument in Congress over slavery.His new plan was called the Great Compromise.
9 Great Compromise of 1850 California joined the Union as a free state. The remaining land of the southwest was divided into two territories – New Mexico and Utah.The people of the territories would decide the issue of slavery.The Compromise also included the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.