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General Map of the United States, by Henry D. Rogers, 1857

A map published nearly forty years after the Missouri Compromise distinguished free states (dark green) and free territories (light green) from slave-importing (light red) and slave-exporting (dark red) states.

Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress

General Map of the United States, by Henry D. Rogers, 1857

The Missouri Compromise

When Missouri, which allowed slavery, applied for statehood in 1819, Congress struggled for a way to maintain the Union despite strongly opposing pro- and antislavery constituencies. After heated debate, Congress adopted the Missouri Compromise, which admitted Maine as a free state to balance Missouri and prohibited slavery north of the 36º 30’ latitude in the Louisiana Territory.