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Preserving the Union - 1

To achieve unity among the states, the nation’s founders did not confront the issue of slavery in the Constitution, but left it for future generations to resolve. In the 19th century, applications for statehood from western territorial legislatures threatened the balance of free and slave states in the Senate. Congress shifted the basis for determining the status of slavery in each territory from the territory’s geographical location to a vote by its inhabitants under the principle of ‘popular sovereignty.’ Slavery remained a burning issue that threatened the Union and eventually led to the Civil War.

1 Image Conference Committee Report on the Missouri Compromise, March 1, 1820 View All Images
2 Images Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Holmes, April 22, 1820 View All Images
1 Image Stephen Douglas's amendment to S. 22, Senate version of the... View All Images