Missouri Compromise Interactive Map

The Missouri Compromise (The Compromise of 1820)


The Compromise of 1820, a legislative landmark, is closely associated with the work of Speaker Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser. Statehood and sectional divisions were key issues facing the new nation.  This Compromise allowed a mathematical balance to be achieved between slaveholding states in the Senate.  Still, the Three-Fifths Compromise (later repealed) increased the number of Southern Congressmen at the expense of their constituents, who had no voting rights. Fugitive Slave Laws would play a role in Clay's bookend work, the Compromise of 1850. 



FINDING SOURCES-Sectionalism and the Missouri Compromise

  • What conflicts existed between the Federal Government and the States at this time?
  • Why was sectionalism important?
  • How did a key challenge to the Missouri Compromise line play a role in the building of tensions in the pre-Civil War (antebellum) period?
  • Did the Supreme Court play a role in a ruling on the Missouri Compromise?
  • What other things was Henry Clay noted for? Whom did he influence?