Sectional Compromises in the 19th Century

Topics: Compromise of 1850, Slavery in the United States, Missouri Compromise Pages: 4 (1295 words) Published: April 2, 2007
Sectional Compromises in the 19th Century

There are two mind paths to choose when considering the statement that the compromises of the 1800s were not really compromises, but sectional sellouts by the North, that continually gave in to the South's wishes. The first is that the compromises really were compromises, and the second is that the compromises were modes of the North selling out. Really, there is only one correct mind path of these two, and that is that the North sold out during these compromises and gave the South what it wanted for minimal returns. The three main compromises of the 19th century, the compromises of 1820 (Missouri) and 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 each were ways for the south to gain more power so that eventually, it could secede. First, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 established the slavery line that allowed slavery below it and forbid slavery above it. It also gave the South another slave state in Missouri and the north a free state in Maine. Although each region gained a state in the Senate, the south benefited most from the acquisition because Missouri was in such a pivotal position in the country, right on the border. Later on with the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, Missouri had a big role in getting Kansas to vote south because many proslavery Missourians crossed the border into Kansas to vote slavery. The Missouri Compromise also helped slavery because the line that was formed to limit slavery had more land below the line than above it. Therefore, slavery was given more land to be slave and therefore more power in the Senate, when the territories became state. In effect, the north got the short end of the stick and the south was given the first hint of being able to push around the north. The interesting thing is, the north agreed to all these provisions that would clearly benefit the south. Likewise, the Compromise of 1850 was made to benefit both regions but really only...
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