Effect of the Compromise of 1850


The Missouri Compromise (1819) set a number of precedents. First, states would enter the Union in pairs, slave states and free states. This compromise helped the Southern states, as they were often admitted to the Union sooner than they would normally have been admitted. Second, the Missouri Compromise delayed the sectional breakup of the Jeffersons Republican party. The battle over Missouri signified a solidification of the Southern opposition to the eventual emancipation of the slaves. Until the fight over Missouris admission to the Union, there was some hope the South would follow the path indicated by many of the founders; a path leading to the eventual voluntary emancipation of all slaves. By the time the Missouri Compromise was reached, it was clear this was not meant to be. The road to the eventual Civil War was laid. Of course, until the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the restriction on slave states North 3630 line held strong. In the aftermath of the compromise, attention immediately turned westward to Missouri. There the legislature almost overreached by passing a State Constitution that forbade free Negros and Mulattos from settling in Missouri. This enraged most Northerners and threatened to stop Missouris final approval for statehood. The statement passed in Missouri was in obvious contradiction to the clause in the Constitution that required all states to respect the privileges and immunities of other states. This crisis was overcome with a second compromise, one that approved the Missouri Constitution, with a proviso, stating: the Missouri legislature would not pass any laws that violated the privileges and immunity clause.