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Missouri Compromise
Authors: United States. Congress
Date:  March 1, 1820
This legislation admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state at the same time, so as not to upset the balance between slave and free states in the nation. It also outlawed slavery above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude line in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory. With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory and the application of Missouri for statehood, the long-standing balance between the number of slave states and the number of free states would be changed. Controversy arose within Congress over the issue of slavery. Congress adopted this legislation and admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state at the same time, so that the balance between slave and free states in the nation would remain equal. The Missouri compromise also proposed that slavery be prohibited above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude line in the remainder of the Louisiana Territory. This provision held for 34 years, until it was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The document featured here is the conference committee's report on the Missouri Compromise. Images, transcription, and document description courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Our Documents web site, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=22.

Keywords: Kansas Nebraska Act; Missouri compromise; United States. Congress


Kansas-Nebraska Act
Authors: United States. Congress
Date:  May 30, 1854
Officially titled "An Act to Organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas," this act repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude in the Louisiana Territory and reopened the national struggle over slavery in the western territories. In January 1854, Senator Stephen Douglas introduced a bill that divided the land west of Missouri into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska. He argued for popular sovereignty, which would allow the settlers of the new territories to decide if slavery would be legal there. Antislavery supporters were outraged because, under the terms of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slavery would have been outlawed in both territories. After months of debate, the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed on May 30, 1854. Images and document description courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Our Documents web site, http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=28. Transcription courtesy of the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm.

Keywords: Kansas Nebraska Act; Missouri compromise; Slavery; United States. Congress; Westward expansion


Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas; With the Views of the Minority of Said Committee. Report No. 200, 34th Congress, 1st Session, 1856.
Authors: United States. Congress
Date:  1856
An extensive report, giving majority and minority views of activities in Kansas during 1855 and 1856. The digitized version of the report is available at the University of Michigan Library's Making of America web site.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Congressional Report 200 (see also Howard Committee); Howard Committee (see also Congressional Report 200); United States. Congress


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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