For years Americans had been practicing slavery. It had become a widespread practice by the 1800s. In fact, it was a practice that had been around since the birth of our nation. Throughout the last decade, the colonists had been listening to their consciouses, in the back of their minds; they knew that slavery was wrong. They were beginning to take note and realize how cruel it actually was. Finally, in 1820, there was a minority of congressmen that rose up and took a stand. It was then that the small, but important steps were made toward equal rights.
In 1820 a man by the name of Henry Clay told the nation how he felt about slavery. Missouri, a state that was beckoning to join the union, practiced slavery. The balance of slave states and free states had been 12 and 12 for the past 15 years. The Americans simply didn’t want to disrupt that balance. Finally, an agreeable compromise was made. The Missouri Compromise stated that Missouri would in fact be admitted into the union-as a slave state. And Maine would also be admitted into the union as a “free” state. Therefore maintaining the balance of free and slave practicing states. This compromise in no way solved any sort of problem-it only “swept the dirt under the rug” so to speak.
This compromise lasted a mere 34 years. Basically, all it did was manage to postpone a growing problem. Eventually, this compromise heralded the break up of the union. As Thomas Jefferson predicted, ”the problem will burst on us like a tornado.” His prophecy was correct- it did with the Civil War.