Dbq: the Success of the Missouri Compromise

Topics: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War, Compromise of 1850 Pages: 3 (832 words) Published: April 29, 2007
DBQ Essay: The Success of Missouri Compromise
The Missouri Compromise, one of the most known agreements in American history, was an attempt presented by Henry Clay in calming sectional division between the Northern and Southern states over the issue of slavery. While the Missouri Compromise found a temporary solution in regards to representation resulting in twelve free states and twelve slave states(G), it also, however, ignited the strong feelings, opinions, and justifications of two opposing sides and "heralded" the future unsuccess of the Union. No longer could our forefathers postpone such an imminent issue as was done during the infancy of the United States government. The Missouri Compromise was a success in a sense, not merely because of its contents, but rather because it caused people to voice their angered opinions about slavery, unavoidably causing the government to realize the importance of finding a genuine solution to the reality of slavery if the future of America was to survive and truly be united.

Never before had both anti-slavery and pro-slavery views been more vigorously defended and articulated as correct after the passing of the Missouri Compromise. Many believed in pro-slavery as expressed by Charles Pickney who explained such views in his speech in Congress saying "slaves are happier in their present situation than they could ever be," and that "it [slavery] could not be got rid of without ruining the country."(B) John C. Calhoun, a Southern politician and political philosopher from South Carolina, believed that slavery was

were also against slavery such as Thomas Jefferson who not only described slavery as a "cruel war against human nature itself," but also stated in a letter to John Holmes concerning the present situation of sectionalism and the Missouri Compromise "that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in a practical way."(C) It was obvious...
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