Years before the American civil War of 1861-1865, the two sides that were formed on the issue of slavery had already had different disagreements. While the Southern states were keen on ensuring slavery continued in America, the northern states sought to abolish the act and in turn make all of America slaves free. This has been attributed to the fact that the Southern States were in fact cotton farmers and had big plantations of the same all over the southern territory. With slaves came free labor and major profits from said plantations. On the other hand, Northern states had taken to industrialization and were after an educated population that could operate the machinery and understand given instructions. With freed blacks, the northerners were assured of a competent workforce. These different ideologies let to the opposite standings on slavery not only among the local Americans but among their leaders as each sought to ensure stability for their territories.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was a result of a possible tip in the balance that stood between pro-slavery and anti-slavery states. This argument finds basis in the fact that, with the newly purchased area of Louisiana there was a possibility of the Missouri terrain becoming a state. When this happened, there were possibilities of the region joining either side of the brewing war. In other words, the slavery supporters felt that slave sympathizers will have more power if Missouri was made a slave free territory. At the same time, the anti-slavery region had the same fears regarding the Southerners. The compromise was reached in a bid to curb afore mentioned worries and in turn maintain the peace between the two sides.
The compromise divided the area of Louisiana into two with one side proclaimed pro-slavery and the other side anti-slavery. This statement was sought to ensure that both sides were satisfied as each would have a claim on the territory. It is important to understand that the two sides were already at positions given their arguments and standing on the issue of slavery. Therefore to ensure their agreement on the given compromise was already an obstacle in itself. Each side was convinced that the other stood to earn more from the deal and at the same time each was skeptical about the other keeping to their given area. For instance, the abolitionists were convinced that even with the territorial line given, blacks will not be able to live freely in the proposed Free State.
Aside from the obvious mistrust, there was the issue of entitlement as each side thought Louisiana ought to belong to their side. For instant, The Northerners felt that with the territory declared an anti-slavery state, there were higher chances of the whole of America following suit in abolishing the act all together. On the other hand, the Southerners felt the same with their reasoning being identical to that of the opposing forces. This is evidenced by the Kansa-Nebraska act that followed years later in a bid to let the states choose sides on popular sovereignty.
Finally yet importantly, the vast size of the Louisiana territory was a hindrance in itself. It is possible that if it had been smaller neither side would have bothered with acquiring the land. This and the fact that the area had no appointed leaders especially in the house of congress made it hard if not impossible to reach a long standing solution. It is possible that had the inhabitants been involved in reaching the compromise it would have lasted longer and would have been more effective. This is especially so as it is possible that some people living in the declared anti-slavery regions were actually pro-slavery while those in the pro-slavery regions were in line with the abolitionists. After ‘Bleeding Kansas’ and the Kansa-Nebraska act this factor was proven right.
It can be argued that, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was in more ways than one the first of many altercations that involved the slavery supporters and sympathizers. With each side seeking to cripple the other, the resulting Civil War was imminent as the two sides were never going to agree on anything that threatened their economies. In addition, each side viewed the other as the enemy and without trust there was no possibility of a long term understanding.
Good The Missouri Compromise Of 1820 Essay Example
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