The United States in 1819, The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery in the unorganized territory of the Great Plains (upper dark green) and permitted it in Missouri (yellow) and the Arkansas Territory (lower blue area)
Earlier, in February 1819, Representative James Tallmadge Jr., a Jeffersonian Republican from New York, had submitted two amendments to Missouri's request for statehood that included restrictions on slavery. Southerners objected to any bill that imposed federal restrictions on slavery and believed that it was a state issue, as settled by the Constitution. However, with the Senate evenly split at the opening of the debates, both sections possessing 11 states, the admission of Missouri as a slave state would give the South an advantage. Northern critics including Federalists and Democratic-Republicans objected to the expansion of slavery into the Louisiana Purchase territory on the Constitutional inequalities of the three-fifths rule, which conferred Southern representation in the federal government derived from a state's slave population. Jeffersonian Republicans in the North ardently maintained that a strict interpretation of the Constitution required that Congress act to limit the spread of slavery on egalitarian grounds. "[Northern] Republicans rooted their antislavery arguments, not on expediency, but in egalitarian morality." "The Constitution [said northern Jeffersonians], strictly interpreted, gave the sons of the founding generation the legal tools to hasten [the] removal [of slavery], including the refusal to admit additional slave states."
When free-soil Maine offered its petition for statehood, the Senate quickly linked the Maine and Missouri bills, making Maine admission a condition for Missouri entering the Union as a slave state. Senator Jesse B. Thomas of Illinois added a compromise proviso that excluded slavery from all remaining lands of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36° 30' parallel. The combined measures passed the Senate, only to be voted down in the House by Northern representatives who held out for a free Missouri. Speaker of the HouseHenry Clay of Kentucky, in a desperate bid to break the deadlock, divided the Senate bills. Clay and his pro-compromise allies succeeded in pressuring half of the anti-restrictionist House Southerners to submit to the passage of the Thomas proviso and maneuvered a number of restrictionist House northerners to acquiesce in supporting Missouri as a slave state. The Missouri question in the 15th Congress ended in stalemate on March 4, 1819, the House sustaining its northern antislavery position and the Senate blocking a slavery restricted statehood.
The Missouri Compromise was very controversial, and many worried that the country had become lawfully divided along sectional lines. The Kansas–Nebraska Act effectively repealed the bill in 1854, and the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), both of which increased tensions over slavery and contributed to the American Civil War.
The Era of Good Feelings, closely associated with the administration of President James Monroe (1817–1825), was characterized by the dissolution of national political identities. With the Federalists discredited by the Hartford Convention against the War of 1812, they were in decline nationally, and the "amalgamated" or hybridized Republicans adopted key Federalist economic programs and institutions, further erasing party identities and consolidating their victory.
The economic nationalism of the Era of Good Feelings authorized the Tariff of 1816 and incorporated the Second Bank of the United States, which portended an abandonment of the Jeffersonian political formula for strict construction of the Constitution, a limited central government, and commitments to the primacy of Southern agrarian interests. The end of opposition parties also meant the end of party discipline and the means to suppress internecine factional animosities. Rather than produce political harmony, as President James Monroe had hoped, amalgamation had led to intense rivalries among Jeffersonian Republicans.
It was amid that period's "good feelings" during which Republican Party discipline was in abeyance that the Tallmadge Amendment surfaced.
Prior to its purchase in 1803, the governments of Spain and France had sanctioned slavery in the region. Enslaved African Americans accounted for twenty to thirty percent of the non-Native American population in and around the main settlements of St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve. In 1804, Congress limited the further introduction of enslaved men and women to those introduced by actual settlers. In addition, in appointing the officials from the Indiana Territory to Upper Louisiana (as Missouri was known until 1812), Congress heightened concerns that it intended to extend some sort of prohibition on slavery's growth across the river. White Missourians objected to these restrictions, and in 1805, Congress withdrew them. The final version of the 1805 territorial ordinance omitted all references to slavery. Under the 1805 ordinance, slavery existed legally in Missouri (which included all of the Louisiana Purchase outside of Louisiana) by force of local law and territorial statute, rather than by territorial ordinance, as was the case in other territories where slavery was permitted. It is unknown if Congress purposely omitted any reference to slavery or Article VI in the 1805 territorial ordinance. Nonetheless, over the next fifteen years, some restrictionists – including Amos Stoddard - claimed that this omission was deliberate, intended to allow the United States government to prohibit slavery in Missouri if circumstances proved more favorable in the future.
In 1812, Louisiana, a major cotton producer and the first to be carved from the Louisiana Purchase, had entered the Union as a slave state. Predictably, Missourians were adamant that slave labor should not be molested by the federal government. In the years after the War of 1812, the region, now known as Missouri Territory, experienced rapid settlement, led by slaveholding planters.
Agriculturally, the land in the lower reaches of the Missouri River, from which that new state would be formed, had no prospects as a major cotton producer. Suited for diversified farming, the only crop regarded as promising for slave labor was hemp culture. On that basis, southern planters immigrated with their chattel to Missouri, and the slave population rose from 3,101 in 1810 to 10,000 in 1820. Out of the total population of 67,000, slaves represented about 15%.
By 1819, the population of Missouri Territory was approaching the threshold that would qualify it for statehood. An enabling act was provided to Congress empowering territorial residents to select convention delegates and draft a state constitution. The admission of Missouri Territory as a slave state was expected to be more-or-less routine.
Congress debates in 1819
Representative James Tallmadge Jr., the author of the antislavery amendment to Missouri statehood
When the Missouri statehood bill was opened for debate in the House of Representatives on February 13, 1819, early exchanges on the floor proceeded without serious incident. In the course of the proceedings, however, Representative James Tallmadge Jr. of New York "tossed a bombshell into the Era of Good Feelings" with the following amendments:
Provided, that the further introduction of slavery or involuntary servitude be prohibited, except for the punishment of crimes, whereof the party shall have been fully convicted; and that all children born within the said State after the admission thereof into the Union, shall be free at the age of twenty-five years.
A political outsider, the 41-year-old Tallmadge conceived his amendment based on a personal aversion to slavery. He had played a leading role in accelerating the emancipation of the remaining slaves in New York in 1817 and had campaigned against Illinois's Black Codes. Though ostensibly free-soil, the new state had a constitution that permitted indentured servitude and a limited form of slavery. As a New York Republican, Tallmadge maintained an uneasy association with Governor DeWitt Clinton, a former Republican who depended on support from ex-Federalists. Clinton's faction was hostile to Tallmadge for his spirited defense of General Andrew Jackson's contentious invasion of Florida.
After proposing the amendment, Tallmadge fell ill, and Representative John W. Taylor, a fellow New York Republican, stepped in to fill the void. Taylor also had antislavery credentials since in February 1819, he had proposed a similar slave restriction for Arkansas Territory in the House, which was defeated 89–87. In a speech before the House during the debate on the Tallmadge Amendment, Taylor was highly critical of southern lawmakers, who frequently voiced their dismay that slavery was entrenched and necessary to their existence, and he warned that Missouri's fate would "decide the destiny of millions" in future states in the American West.
The controversy on the amendment and the future of slavery in the nation created much dissension among Jeffersonian Republicans and polarized the party. Northern Jeffersonian Republicans formed a coalition across factional lines with remnants of the Federalists. Southern Jeffersonians united in almost unanimous opposition. The ensuing debates pitted the northern "restrictionists", antislavery legislators who wished to bar slavery from the Louisiana Territory and all future states and territories, and southern "anti-restrictionists", proslavery legislators who rejected any interference by Congress that inhibited slavery expansion. The sectional "rupture" over slavery among Jeffersonian Republicans, first exposed in the Missouri Crisis, had its roots in the Revolutionary generation.
Five Representatives in Maine were opposed to spreading slavery into new territories. Dr. Brian Purnell, a professor of Africana Studies and US history at Bowdoin College, writes in Portland Magazine, "Martin Kinsley, Joshua Cushman, Ezekiel Whitman, Enoch Lincoln, and James Parker—wanted to prohibit slavery's spread into new territories. In 1820, they voted against the Missouri Compromise and against Maine's independence. In their defense, they wrote that, if the North, and the nation, embarked upon this Compromise—and ignored what experiences proved, namely that southern slaveholders were determined to dominate the nation through ironclad unity and perpetual pressure to demand more land, and more slaves—then these five Mainers declared Americans "shall deserve to be considered a besotted and stupid race, fit, only, to be led blindfold; and worthy, only, to be treated with sovereign contempt".
The Missouri crisis marked a rupture in the Republican Ascendency, the national association of Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans that had dominated federal politics since the War of 1812.
The Founding Fathers had inserted both principled and expedient elements in the establishing documents. The Declaration of Independence in 1776 had been grounded on the claim that liberty established a moral ideal that made universal equality a common right. The Revolutionary generation had formed a government of limited powers in 1787 to embody the principles in the Declaration but "burdened with the one legacy that defied the principles of 1776", human bondage. In a pragmatic commitment to form the Union, the federal apparatus would forego any authority to interfere directly with the institution of slavery if it existed under local control by the states. The acknowledgment of state sovereignty provided for the participation of the states that were the most committed to slave labor. With that understanding, slaveholders had co-operated in authorizing the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 and outlawing the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1808. The Founders sanctioned slavery but did so with the implicit understanding that the slave states would take steps to relinquish the institution as opportunities arose.
Southern states, after the American Revolutionary War, had regarded slavery as an institution in decline except for Georgia and South Carolina. That was manifest in the shift towards diversified farming in the Upper South; the gradual emancipation of slaves in New England and more significantly in Mid-Atlantic States. In the 1790s, with the introduction of the cotton gin, to 1815, with the vast increase in demand for cotton internationally, slave-based agriculture underwent an immense revival that spread the institution westward to the Mississippi River. Antislavery elements in the South vacillated, as did their hopes for the imminent demise of human bondage.
However rancorous the disputes were by southerners themselves over the virtues of a slave-based society, they united against external challenges to their institution. They believed that free states were not to meddle in the affairs of slave states. Southern leaders, virtually all of whom identified as Jeffersonian Republicans, denied that northerners had any business encroaching on matters related to slavery. Northern attacks on the institution were condemned as incitements to riot by slave populations, which was deemed to be a dire threat to white southerners' security.
Northern Jeffersonian Republicans embraced the Jeffersonian antislavery legacy during the Missouri debates and explicitly cited the Declaration of Independence as an argument against expanding the institution. Southern leaders, seeking to defend slavery, renounced the document's universal egalitarian applications and its declaration that "all men are created equal."
Article 1, Section 2, of the US Constitution supplemented legislative representation in states whose residents owned slaves. Known as the Three-Fifths Clause, or the "federal ratio", three-fifths of the slave population was numerically added to the free population. That sum was used for each state to calculate congressional districts and the number of delegates to the Electoral College. The federal ratio produced a significant number of legislative victories for the South in the years before the Missouri Crisis and raised the South's influence in party caucuses, the appointment of judges, and the distribution of patronage. It is unlikely that the ratio before 1820 was decisive in affecting legislation on slavery. Indeed, with the rising northern representation in the House, the southern share of the membership had declined since the 1790s.
Hostility to the federal ratio had historically been the object of the Federalists, which were now nationally ineffectual, who attributed their collective decline on the "Virginia Dynasty". They expressed their dissatisfaction in partisan terms, rather than in moral condemnation of slavery, and the pro-De Witt Clinton-Federalist faction carried on the tradition by posing as antirestrictionists to advance their fortunes in New York politics.
Senator Rufus King of New York, a Clinton associate, was the last Federalist icon still active on the national stage, a fact that was irksome to southern Republicans. A signatory to the US Constitution, he had strongly opposed the federal ratio in 1787. In the 15th Congress debates in 1819, he revived his critique as a complaint that New England and the Mid-Atlantic States suffered unduly from the federal ratio and declared himself 'degraded' (politically inferior) to the slaveholders. Federalists both in the North and the South preferred to mute antislavery rhetoric, but during the 1820 debates in the 16th Congress, King and other Federalists would expand their old critique to include moral considerations of slavery.
Republican James Tallmadge Jr. and the Missouri restrictionists deplored the federal ratio because it had translated into political supremacy for the South. They had no agenda to remove it from the Constitution but only to prevent its further application west of the Mississippi River.
As determined as southern Republicans were to secure Missouri statehood with slavery, the federal clause ratio to provide the margin of victory in the 15th Congress. Blocked by northern Republicans, largely on egalitarian grounds, with sectional support from Federalists, the statehood bill died in the Senate, where the federal ratio had no relevance. The balance of power between the sections and the maintenance of Southern pre-eminence on matters related to slavery resided in the Senate.
"Balance of power" in Senate
Northern majorities in the House did not translate into political dominance. The fulcrum for proslavery forces resided in the Senate, where constitutional compromise in 1787 had provided for two senators per state, regardless of its population. The South, with its smaller free population than the North, benefited from that arrangement. Since 1815, sectional parity in the Senate had been achieved through paired admissions, which left the North and the South, during the application of Missouri Territory, at 11 states each.
The South, voting as a bloc on measures that challenged slaveholding interests and augmented by defections from free states with southern sympathies, was able to tally majorities. The Senate stood as the bulwark and source of the Slave Power, which required admission of slave states to the Union to preserve its national primacy.
Missouri statehood, with the Tallmadge Amendment approved, would have set a trajectory towards a free state west of the Mississippi and a decline in southern political authority. The question as to whether the Congress was allowed to restrain the growth of slavery in Missouri took on great importance in slave states. The moral dimensions of the expansion of human bondage would be raised by northern Republicans on constitutional grounds.
The Tallmadge Amendment was "the first serious challenge to the extension of slavery" and raised questions concerning the interpretation of the republic's founding documents.
Jeffersonian Republicans justified Tallmadge's restrictions on the grounds that Congress possessed the authority to impose territorial statutes that would remain in force after statehood was established. Representative John W. Taylor pointed to Indiana and Illinois, where their free state status conformed to antislavery provisions of the Northwest Ordinance.
Massachusetts Representative Timothy Fuller
Further, antislavery legislators invoked Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution, which requires states to provide a republican form of government. As the Louisiana Territory was not part of the United States in 1787, they argued that introducing slavery into Missouri would thwart the egalitarian intent of the Founders.
Proslavery Republicans countered that the Constitution had long been interpreted as having relinquished any claim to restricting slavery in the states. The free inhabitants of Missouri in the territorial phase or during statehood had the right to establish or disestablish slavery without interference from the federal government. As to the Northwest Ordinance, southerners denied that it could serve as a lawful antecedent for the territories of the Louisiana Purchase, as the ordinance had been issued under the Articles of Confederation, rather than the US Constitution.
As a legal precedent, they offered the treaty acquiring the Louisiana lands in 1803, a document that included a provision, Article 3, which extended the rights of US citizens to all inhabitants of the new territory, including the protection of property in slaves. When slaveholders embraced Jeffersonian constitutional strictures on a limited central government, they were reminded that Jefferson, as president in 1803, had deviated from those precepts by wielding federal executive power to double the size of the United States, including the lands under consideration for Missouri statehood. In doing so, he set a constitutional precedent that would serve to rationalize Tallmadge's federally-imposed slavery restrictions.
The 15th Congress had debates that focused on constitutional questions but largely avoided the moral dimensions raised by the topic of slavery. That the unmentionable subject had been raised publicly was deeply offensive to southern representatives and violated the long-time sectional understanding between legislators from free states and slave states.
Missouri statehood confronted southern Jeffersonians with the prospect of applying the egalitarian principles espoused by the Revolutionary generation. That would require halting the spread of slavery westward and confine the institution to where it already existed. Faced with a population of 1.5 million slaves and the lucrative production of cotton, the South would abandon hopes for containment. Slaveholders in the 16th Congress, in an effort to come to grips with that paradox, resorted to a theory that called for extending slavery geographically so as to encourage its decline, which they called "diffusion".
On February 16, 1819, the House Committee of the Whole voted to link Tallmadge's provisions with the Missouri statehood legislation by 79–67. After the committee vote, debates resumed over the merits of each of Tallmadge's provisions in the enabling act. The debates in the House's 2nd session in 1819 lasted only three days. They have been characterized as "rancorous", "fiery", "bitter", "blistering", "furious" and "bloodthirsty".
You have kindled a fire which all the waters of the ocean cannot put out, which seas of blood can only extinguish.
Representatives from the North outnumbered those from the South in House membership 105 to 81. When each of the restrictionist provisions was put to the vote, they passed along sectional lines: 87 to 76 for prohibition on further slave migration into Missouri and 82 to 78 for emancipating the offspring of slaves at 25.
House vote on restricting slavery in Missouri
The enabling bill was passed to the Senate, and both parts of it were rejected: 22–16 against the restriction of new slaves in Missouri (supported by five northerners, two of whom were the proslavery legislators from the free state of Illinois) and 31–7 against the gradual emancipation for slave children born after statehood. House antislavery restrictionists refused to concur with the Senate proslavery anti-restrictionists, and Missouri statehood would devolve upon the 16th Congress in December 1819.
Federalist "plots" and "consolidation"
New York Governor DeWitt Clinton
The Missouri Compromise debates stirred suspicions by slavery interests that the underlying purpose of the Tallmadge Amendments had little to do with opposition to the expansion of slavery.
The accusation was first leveled in the House by the Republican anti-restrictionist John Holmes from the District of Maine. He suggested that Senator Rufus King's "warm" support for the Tallmadge Amendment concealed a conspiracy to organize a new antislavery party in the North, which would be composed of old Federalists in combination with disaffected antislavery Republicans. The fact that King in the Senate and Tallmadge and Tyler in the House, all New Yorkers, were among the vanguard for restriction on slavery in Missouri lent credibility to those charges. When King was re-elected to the US Senate in January 1820, during the 16th Congress debates and with bipartisan support, suspicions deepened and persisted throughout the crisis. Southern Jeffersonian Republican leadership, including President Monroe and ex-President Thomas Jefferson, considered it as an article of faith that Federalists, given the chance, would destabilize the Union as to restore monarchical rule in North America and "consolidate" political control over the people by expanding the functions of the federal government. Jefferson, at first unperturbed by the Missouri question, soon became convinced that a northern conspiracy was afoot, with Federalists and crypto-Federalists posing as Republicans and using Missouri statehood as a pretext.
The disarray of the Republican ascendancy brought about by amalgamation made fears abound in Southerners that a Free State Party might take shape if Congress failed to reach an understanding over Missouri and slavery and possibly threaten southern pre-eminence. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts surmised that the political configuration for just such a sectional party already existed.
That the Federalists were anxious to regain a measure of political participation in national politics was indisputable. There was no basis, however, for the charge that Federalists had directed Tallmadge in his antislavery measures, and there was nothing to indicate that a New York-based King-Clinton alliance sought to erect an antislavery party on the ruins of the Republican Party. The allegations by Southern interests for slavery of a "plot" or that of "consolidation" as a threat to the Union misapprehended the forces at work in the Missouri crisis. The core of the opposition to slavery in the Louisiana Purchase was informed by Jeffersonian egalitarian principles, not a Federalist resurgence.
The admission of another slave state would increase southern power when northern politicians had already begun to regret the Constitution's Three-Fifths Compromise. Although more than 60 percent of white Americans lived in the North, northern representatives held only a slim majority of congressional seats by 1818. The additional political representation allotted to the South as a result of the Three-Fifths Compromise gave southerners more seats in the House of Representatives than they would have had if the number was based on the free population alone. Moreover, since each state had two Senate seats, Missouri's admission as a slave state would result in more southern than northern senators. A bill to enable the people of the Missouri Territory to draft a constitution and form a government preliminary to admission into the Union came before the House of Representatives in Committee of the Whole, on February 13, 1819. James Tallmadge of New York offered the Tallmadge Amendment, which forbade further introduction of slaves into Missouri and mandated that all children of slave parents born in the state after its admission to be free at the age of 25. The committee adopted the measure and incorporated it into the bill as finally passed on February 17, 1819, by the House. The Senate refused to concur with the amendment, and the whole measure was lost.
During the following session (1819–1820), the House passed a similar bill with an amendment, introduced on January 26, 1820, by John W. Taylor of New York, allowing Missouri into the union as a slave state. The question had been complicated by the admission in December of Alabama, a slave state, which made the number of slave and free states equal. In addition, there was a bill in passage through the House (January 3, 1820) to admit Maine as a free state.
The Senate decided to connect the two measures. It passed a bill for the admission of Maine with an amendment enabling the people of Missouri to form a state constitution. Before the bill was returned to the House, a second amendment was adopted, on the motion of Jesse B. Thomas of Illinois, to exclude slavery from the Louisiana Territory north of 36°30 north, the southern boundary of Missouri, except within the limits of the proposed state of Missouri.
The vote in the Senate was 24-20 for the compromise. The amendment and the bill passed in the Senate on February 17 and February 18, 1820. The House then approved the Senate compromise amendment, 90–87, with all of the opposition coming from representatives from the free states. The House then approved the whole bill 134–42 with opposition from the southern states.
Second Missouri Compromise
The two houses were at odds on the issue of the legality of slavery but also on the parliamentary question of the inclusion of Maine and Missouri in the same bill. The committee recommended the enactment of two laws, one for the admission of Maine and the other an enabling act for Missouri. It also recommended having no restrictions on slavery but keeping the Thomas Amendment. Both houses agreed, and the measures were passed on March 5, 1820, and signed by President James Monroe on March 6.
The question of the final admission of Missouri came up during the session of 1820–1821. The struggle was revived over a clause in Missouri's new constitution, written in 1820, which required the exclusion of "free negroes and mulattoes" from the state. The influence of Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, known as "The Great Compromiser", an act of admission was finally passed if the exclusionary clause of the Missouri constitution should "never be construed to authorize the passage of any law" impairing the privileges and immunities of any U.S. citizen. That deliberately ambiguous provision is sometimes known as the Second Missouri Compromise.
Impact on political discourse
For decades afterward, Americans hailed the 1820 agreement as an essential compromise, almost on the sacred level of the Constitution itself. Although the Civil War broke out in 1861, historians often say that the Compromise helped postpone the war.
Animation showing the free/slave status of U.S. states and territories, 1789–1861, including the Missouri Compromise
The disputes involved the competition between the southern and northern states for power in Congress and control over future territories. There were also the same factions emerging, as the Democratic-Republican Party began to lose its coherence. In an April 22 letter to John Holmes, Thomas Jefferson wrote that the division of the country created by the Compromise Line would eventually lead to the destruction of the Union:
...but this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. it is hushed indeed for the moment. but this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.
The debate over the admission of Missouri also raised the issue of sectional balance, as the country was equally divided between slave states and free states, with eleven each. To admit Missouri as a slave state would tip the balance in the Senate, which is made up of two senators per state, in favor of the slave states. That made northern states want Maine admitted as a free state. Maine was admitted in 1820, and Missouri in 1821, but no further states were added until 1836, when Arkansas was admitted.
From the constitutional standpoint, the Missouri Compromise was important as the example of congressional exclusion of slavery from US territory acquired since the Northwest Ordinance. Nevertheless, the Compromise was deeply disappointing to blacks in both the North and the South, as it stopped the Southern progression of gradual emancipation at Missouri's southern border, and it legitimized slavery as a southern institution.
^Brown, 1966. p. 25: "[Henry Clay], who managed to bring up the separate parts of the compromise separately in the House, enabling the Old Republicans [in the South] to provide him with a margin of victory on the closely contested Missouri [statehood] bill while saved their pride by voting against the Thomas Proviso."
^Ammon, 1958, p. 4: "The phrase 'Era of Good Feelings', so inextricably associated with the administration of James Monroe....
^Brown, 1966. p. 23: "So long as the Federalists remained an effective opposition, Jefferson's party worked as a party should. It maintained its identity in relation to the opposition by moderate and pragmatic advocacy of strict construction of the Constitution. Because it had competition, it could maintain discipline. It responded to its constituent elements because it depended on them for support. But eventually, its very success was its undoing. After 1815, stirred by the nationalism of the postwar era, and with the Federals in decline, the Republicans took up Federalist positions on a number of the great public issues of the day, sweeping all before then as they did. The Federalists gave up the ghost. In the "Era of Good Feelings" that followed, everybody began to call himself a Republican, and a new theory of party amalgamation preached the doctrine that party division was bad and that a one-party system best served the national interest. Only gradually did it become apparent that in victory, the Republican's party had lost its identity, and its usefulness. As the party of the whole nation, it ceased to be responsive to any particular elements in its constituency. It ceased to be responsive to the North.... When it did [become unresponsive], and because it did, it invited the Missouri crisis of 1819–1820...."
^Ammon, 1958, p. 5: "Most Republicans like former President [James] Madison readily acknowledged the shift that had taken place within the Republican party towards Federalist principles and viewed the process without qualms." p. 4: "The Republicans had taken over (as they saw it) that which was of permanent value in the Federal program." p. 10: "Federalists had vanished" from national politics.
^Brown, 1966, p. 23: "...a new theory of party amalgamation preached the doctrine that party division was bad and that a one-party system best served the national interest" "After 1815, stirred by the nationalism of the post-war era, and with the Federalists in decline, the Republicans took up the Federalist positions on a number of the great public issues of the day, sweeping all before them as they did. The Federalists gave up the ghost."
^Brown, 1966, p. 22: "The insistence (FILL)... outside the South" p. 23: The amalgamated Republicans, "as a party of the whole nation... ceased to be responsive to any particular elements in its constituency. It ceased to be responsive to the South." And "The insistence that slavery was uniquely a Southern concern, not to be touched by outsiders, had been from the outset a sine qua non for Southern participation in national politics. It underlay the Constitution and its creation of a government of limited powers...." Brown, 1987, p. 24: "Not only did the Missouri crisis make these matters clear [the need to revive strict constructionist principles and quiet anti-slavery agitation], but "it gave marked impetus to a reaction against nationalism and amalgamation of postwar Republicanism" and the rise of the Old Republicans.
^Ammon, 1971 (James Monroe bio) p. 463: "The problems presented by the [consequences of promoting Federalist economic nationalism] gave an opportunity to the older, more conservative [Old] Republicans to reassert themselves by attributing the economic dislocation to a departure from the principles of the Jeffersonian era."
^Parsons, 2009, p. 56: "Animosity between Federalists and Republicans had been replaced by animosity between Republicans themselves, often over the same issues that had once separated them from the Federalists."
^Brown, 1966, p. 28: "...amalgamation had destroyed the levers which made party discipline possible."
^Dangerfield, 1965. p. 36 Ammons, 1971. p. 206 Ellis, 1996. p. 266: "Jefferson had in fact worried out loud that the constitutional precedent he was setting with the acquisition of Louisiana in 1803. In that sense, his worries proved to be warranted. The entire congressional debate of 1819–1820 over the Missouri Question turned on the question of federal versus state sovereignty, essentially a constitutional conflict in which Jefferson's long-standing opposition to federal power was clear and unequivocal, the Louisiana Purchase being the one exception that was now coming back to haunt him. But just as the constitutional character of the congressional debate served only to mask the deeper moral and ideological issues at stake, Jefferson's own sense of regret at his complicity in providing the constitutional precedent for the Tallmadge amendment merely scratched that surface of his despair."
^Malone, 1960. p. 419: "several thousand planters took their slaves into the area believing that Congress would do nothing to disturb the institution, which had enjoyed legal protection in the territory of the Louisiana Purchase under its former French and Spanish rulers."
^Malone, 1969. p. 419: "After 1815, settlers had poured across the Mississippi.... Several thousand planters took their slaves in the area...."
^Dangerfield, 1966. p. 109 Wilentz, 2004. p. 379: "Missouri, unlike Louisiana, was not suited to cotton, but slavery had been established in the western portions, which were especially promising for growing hemp, a crop so taxing to cultivate that it was deemed fit only for slave labor. Southerners worried that a ban on slavery in Missouri, already home to 10,000 slaves—roughly fifteen percent of its total population [85% whites]—would create a precedent for doing so in all the entering states from the trans-Mississippi West, thereby establishing congressional powers that slaveholders denied existed.
^Howe, 2004, p. 147: "By 1819, enough settlers had crossed the Mississippi River that Missouri Territory could meet the usual population criterion for admission to the Union." "an 'enabling act' was presented to Congress [for Missouri statehood]." Malone, 1960. p. 419: "settlement had reached the point where Missouri, the next state [after Louisiana state] to be carved out of the Louisiana Purchase, straddled the line between the free and slave states."
^Ammons, 1971. p. 449: "Certainly no one guessed in February 1819 the extent to which passions would be stirred by the introduction of a bill to permit Missouri to organize a state government."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 379: "When the territorial residents of Missouri applied for admission to the Union, most Southerners—and, probably, at first, most Northerners—assumed slavery would be allowed. All were in for a shock." Dangerfield, 1965. p. 107: Prior to the Tallmadge debates, the 15th Congress there had been "certain arguments or warnings concerning congressional powers in the territories; none the less... [Tallmadge's amendment] caught the House off its guard."
^Dangerfield, 1965, p. 110: "When Tallmadge, in 1818, attacked the indentured service and limited slavery provisions in the Illinois constitution, only thirty-four representatives voted with him against admission. The Tallmadge amendment of 1819, therefore, must also be considered the first serious challenge to the extension of slavery."
^Howe, 2004. p. 147: "Tallmadge was an independent-minded Republican, allied at the time with Dewitt Clinton's faction in New York state politics. The year before, he had objected to the admission of Illinois on the (well-founded) grounds that its constitution did not provide enough assurance that the Northwest Ordinance prohibition on slavery would be perpetuated." Wilentz, 2004. p. 379: "In 1818, when Illinois gained admission to the Union, antislavery forces won a state constitution that formally barred slavery but included a fierce legal code that regulated free blacks and permitted the election of two Southern-born senators."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 378: "A Poughkeepsie lawyer and former secretary to Governor George Clinton, Tallmadge had served in Congress for just over two years when he made his brief but momentous appearance in national politics. He was known as a political odd duck. Nominally an ally and kin, by marriage, of De Witt Clinton, who nonetheless distrusted him, Tallmadge was disliked by the surviving New York Federalists, who detested his defense of General Andrew Jackson against attacks on Jackson's military command in East Florida." Dangerfield, 1965. pp. 107–108: "James Tallmadge, Jr. a representative [of New York state]... was supposed to be a member of the [DeWitt Clinton] faction in New York politics... may have offered his amendment because his conscience was affronted, and for no other reason.
^Dangerfield, 1965: p. 107, footnote 28: In February 1819,[Taylor, attempted] to insert into a bill establishing a Territory of Arkansas an antislavery clause similar to [the one Tallmadge would shortly present]... and it "was defeated in the House 89–87." Dangerfield, 1965. p. 122
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 376: "[T]he sectional divisions among the Jeffersonian Republicans... offers historical paradoxes... in which hard-line slaveholding Southern Republicans rejected the egalitarian ideals of the slaveholder [Thomas] Jefferson while the antislavery Northern Republicans upheld them – even as Jefferson himself supported slavery's expansion on purportedly antislavery grounds.
^Dangerfleld, 1965. p. 111: "The most prominent feature of the voting at this stage was its apparently sectional character."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 376: "Jeffersonian rupture over slavery drew upon ideas from the Revolutionary era. It began with congressional conflicts over slavery and related matter in the 1790s. It reached a crisis during the first great American debate about slavery in the nineteenth century, over the admission of Missouri to the Union."
^Wilentz, 2004 p. 376: "When fully understood, however, the story of sectional divisions among the Jeffersonians recovers the Jeffersonian antislavery legacy, exposes the fragility of the 'second party system' of the 1830s and 1840s, and vindicates Lincoln's claims about his party's Jeffersonian origins. The story also offers historical paradoxes of its own, in which hardline slaveholding Southern Republicans rejected the egalitarian ideals of the slave-holder Jefferson while anti-slavery Northern Republicans upheld them—even as Jefferson himself supported slavery's expansion on purportedly antislavery grounds. The Jeffersonian rupture over slavery drew upon ideas from the Revolutionary era. It began with congressional conflicts over slavery and related matters in the 1790s. It reached a crisis during the first great American debate about slavery in the nineteenth century, over the admission of Missouri to the Union." Ellis, 1995. pp. 265, 269, 271
^Ellis 1995. p. 265: "the idea of prohibiting the extension of slavery into the western territories could more readily be seen as a fulfillment rather than a repudiation of the American Revolution, indeed as the fulfillment of Jefferson's early vision of an expansive republic populated by independent farmers unburdened by the one legacy that defied the principles of 1776 [slavery]."
^Brown, 1966. p. 22: "The insistence that slavery was uniquely a Southern concern, not to be touched by outsiders, had been from the outset a sine qua non for Southern participation in national politics. It underlay the Constitution and its creation of a government of limited powers, without which Southern participation would have been unthinkable."
^Ellis, 1996. p. 267: "[The Founders' silence on slavery] was contingent upon some discernible measure of progress toward ending slavery."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 383: "Not since the framing and ratification of the Constitution in 1787–88 had slavery caused such a tempest in national politics. In part, the breakthrough of emancipation in the Middle States after 1789—especially in New York, where James Tallmadge played a direct role—emboldened Northern antislavery opinion. Southern slavery had spread since 1815. After the end of the War of 1812, and thanks to new demand from the Lancashire mills, the effects of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, and the new profitability of upland cotton, slavery expanded into Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Between 1815 and 1820, U.S. cotton production doubled, and, between 1820 and 1825, it doubled again. Slavery's revival weakened what had been, during the Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary era, a widespread assumption in the South, although not in South Carolina and Georgia, that slavery was doomed. By the early 1820s, Southern liberal blandishments of the post-Revolutionary years had either fallen on the defensive or disappeared entirely."
^Brown, 1966. p. 22: "...there ran one compelling idea that virtually united all Southerners, and which governed their participation in national politics. This was that the institution of slavery should not be dealt with from outside the South. Whatever the merits of the institution—and Southerners violently disagreed about this, never more so than in the 1820s—the presence of the slave was a fact too critical, too sensitive, too perilous to be dealt with by those not directly affected. Slavery must remain a Southern question."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 383: "Southerner leaders—of whom virtually all identified as Jeffersonian Republicans—denied that Northerners had any business encroaching on matters related to slavery. Northern attacks on the institution were regarded as incitements to riot among the slave populations—deemed a dire threat to white southern security. Tallmadge's amendments horrified Southern congressmen, the vast majority of whom were Jeffersonian Republicans. They claimed that whatever the rights and wrongs of slavery, Congress lacked the power to interfere with its expansion. Southerners of all factions and both parties rallied to the proposition that slavery must remain a Southern question."
^Wilentz, 2004 p. 376: "When fully understood, however, the story of sectional divisions among the Jeffersonians recovers the Jeffersonian antislavery legacy, exposes the fragility of the 'second party system' of the 1830s and 1840s, and vindicates Lincoln's claims about his party's Jeffersonian origins. The story also offers historical paradoxes of its own, in which hardline slaveholding Southern Republicans rejected the egalitarian ideals of the slave-holder Jefferson while anti-slavery Northern Republicans upheld them—even as Jefferson himself supported slavery's expansion on purportedly antislavery grounds. The Jeffersonian rupture over slavery drew upon ideas from the Revolutionary era. It began with congressional conflicts over slavery and related matters in the 1790s. It reached a crisis during the first great American debate about slavery in the nineteenth century, over the admission of Missouri to the Union."
^Wilentz, 2016. p. 101: "The three-fifths clause certainly inflated Southerner's power in the House, not simply in affecting numerous roll-call votes – roughly one in three overall of those recorded between 1795 to 1821—but in shaping the politics of party caucuses... patronage and judicial appointments. Yet even with the extra seats, the share held by major slaveholding states actually declined between 1790 to 1820, from 45% to 42%... [and] none of the bills listed in the study concerned slavery, whereas in 1819, antislavery Northerners, most of them Jeffersonian Republicans, rallied a clear House majority to halt slavery's expansion."
^Varon, 2008. p. 40: "The three-fifths clause inflated the South's representation in the House. Because the number of presidential electors assigned to each state was equal to the size of its congressional delegation... the South had power over the election of presidents that was disproportionate to the size of the region's free population... since Jefferson's accession in 1801, a 'Virginia Dynasty' had ruled the White House." Malone, 1960. p. ?: "The constitutional provision relating to slavery that bore most directly on the [Missouri controversy] was the three-fifths ratio of representation, sometimes called the federal ratio. The representation of any state in the lower house of Congress was based on the number of its free inhabitants, push three-fifths of its slaves. The free states were now  forging ahead in total population, were now had a definite majority. On the other hand, the delegation from the South was disproportionate to its free population, and the region actually had representation for its slave property. This situation vexed the Northerners, especially the New Englanders, who had suffered from political frustration since the Louisiana Purchase, and who especially resented the rule of the Virginia Dynasty." Wilentz, 2016. p. 47: "[Federalists] objected above all to the increasingly notorious three-fifths clause [which] inflated representation of the Southern states in Congress and the Electoral College."
^Wilentz, 2016. p. 99: "[Federalist hostility to Jefferson and the Virginia Dynasty] nothing about slavery or its cruelties showed up – except (in what had become a familiar sour-grapes excuse among Federalists for their national political failures) how the three-fifths clause aided the wretched... Jeffersonians."
^Dangerfield, 1965. p. 109: "The federal ratio ... had hitherto been an object of the Federalist-Clintonian concern [rather than the Northern Jeffersonian Republicans]; whether the Republicans of the North and East would have gone to battle over Missouri is their hands had not been forced by Tallmadge's amendment is quite another question." Howe, 2004, p. 150 Brown, 1966. p. 26
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 385: "More than thirty years after fighting the three-fifths clause at the Federal Convention, King warmly supported banning slavery in Missouri, restating the Yankee Federalist fear of Southern political dominance that had surfaced at the disgraced Hartford Convention in 1814. The issue, for King, at least in his early speeches on Missouri, was not chiefly moral. King explicitly abjured wanting to benefit either slaves or free blacks. His goal, rather, was to ward off the political subjugation of the older northeastern states—and to protect what he called 'the common defense, the general welfare, and [the] wise administration of government.' Only later did King and other Federalists begin pursuing broader moral and constitutional indictments of slavery."
^Varon, 2008. p. 39: "they were openly resentful of the fact that the three-fifths clause had translated into political supremacy for the South." Dangerfield, 1965. p. 109: "[The federal ratio] hardly agreed with [the restrictionists] various interests for this apportionment to move across the Mississippi River. Tallmadge [remarked the trans-Mississippi region] 'had no claim to such unequal representation, unjust upon the other States.'"
^Howe, 2004. p. 150: "The Missouri Compromise also concerned political power... many [Northerners] were increasingly alarmed at the disproportionate political influence of the southern slaveholders... [resenting the three-fifths clause]."
^Wilentz, 2016. pp. 102–103: "The three-fifths clause guaranteed the South a voting majority on some, but hardly all [critical matters].... Indeed, the congressional bulwark of what became known, rightly, as the Slave Power proved not to be the House, but the Senate, where the three-fifths rule made no difference." "The three-fifths clause certainly did not prevent the House from voting to exclude slavery from the new state of Missouri in 1819. The House twice passed [in the 15th Congress] by substantial margins, antislavery resolutions proposed by [Tallmadge] with the largely Northern Republican majority founding its case on Jefferson's Declaration [of Independence].... The antislavery effort would die in the Senate, where, again, the three-fifths clause made no difference."
^Howe, 2004. p. 150: "but if slavery were on the road to ultimate extinction in Missouri, the state might not vote with the proslavery bloc. In such power calculations, the composition of the Senate was of even greater moment than that of the House.... So the South looked to preserve its sectional equality in the Senate."
^Varon, 2008. p. 40: "the North's demographic edge [in the House] did not translate into control over the federal government, for that edge was blunted by constitutional compromises. The fact that the Founders had decided that each state, however large or small, would elect two senators meant the South's power in the Senate was disproportionate to its population, and that maintaining a senatorial parity between North and South depended on bringing in equal numbers of free and slave states. Ammons, 1971. p. 450: "The central concern in the debates... had been over the [senatorial] balance of power, for the Southern congressmen had concentrated their objections upon the fact that the admission of Missouri would forever destroy the equal balance then existing between [the number of] free and slave states."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 379: "At stake were the terms of admission to the Union of the newest state, Missouri. The main issue seemed simple enough, but the ramifications were not. Since 1815, in a flurry of state admissions, the numbers of new slave and free states had been equal, leaving the balance of slave and free states nationwide and in the Senate equal. The balance was deceptive. In 1818, when Illinois gained admission to the Union, antislavery forces won a state constitution that formally barred slavery but included a fierce legal code that regulated free blacks and permitted the election of two Southern-born senators. In practical terms, were Missouri admitted as a slave state, the Southern bloc in the Senate might enjoy a four-vote, not a two-vote majority." Howe, 2004. p. 150
^Wilentz, 2016. p. 102: "The congressional bulwark of what came to be known, rightly, as the Slave Power proved not to be the House but the Senate...."
^Dangerfield, 1965. pp. 114–115: "The political and sectional problem originally raised by the Tallmadge amendment, the problem of the control of the Mississippi Valley, quite failed to conceal [the] profound renumciation of human rights."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 387: "According to the Republicans, preservation of individual rights and strict construction of the Constitution demanded the limitation of slavery and the recognition.... Earlier and more passionately than the Federalists, Republicans rooted their antislavery arguments, not in political expediency, but in egalitarian morality—the belief, as Fuller declared, that it was both 'the right and duty of Congress' to restrict the spread 'of the intolerable evil and the crying enormity of slavery.' Individual rights, the Republicans asserted, has been defined by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.... If all men were created equal, as Jefferson said, then slaves, as men, were born free and, under any truly republican government, entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As the Constitution, in Article 4, section 4, made a republican government in the states a fundamental guarantee of the Union, the extension of slavery into areas where slavery did not exist in 1787 was not only immoral but unconstitutional."
^Dangerfield, 1965. p. 110 Varon, 2008. p. 39: "The Missouri debates, first and foremost, arguments about just what the compromises of 1787 really meant—what the Founders really intended."
^Varon, 2008. p. 40: "Tallmadge [and his supporters] made the case that it was constitutional for Congress to legislate the end of slavery in Missouri after its admission to statehood [to determine] the details of its government." Wilentz, 2005. p. 123
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 387: "According to the Republicans, preservation of individual rights and strict construction of the Constitution demanded the limitation of slavery and the recognition, in Fuller's words, that 'all men have equal rights,' regardless of color. Earlier and more passionately than the Federalists, Republicans rooted their antislavery arguments, not in political expediency, but in egalitarian morality—the belief, as Fuller declared, that it was both 'the right and duty of Congress' to restrict the spread 'of the intolerable evil and the crying enormity of slavery.' Individual rights, the Republicans asserted, has been defined by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence—'an authority admitted in all parts of the Union [as] a definition of the basis of republican government.' If all men were created equal, as Jefferson said, then slaves, as men, were born free and, under any truly republican government, entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As the Constitution, in Article 4, section 4, made a republican government in the states a fundamental guarantee of the Union, the extension of slavery into areas where slavery did not exist in 1787 was not only immoral but unconstitutional."
^Ellis, 1995. p. 266: "the idea of prohibiting the extension of slavery into the western territories could more readily be seen as a fulfillment rather than a repudiation of the American Revolution, indeed as the fulfillment of Jefferson's early vision of an expansive republic populated by independent farmers unburdened by the one legacy that defied the principles of 1776 [slavery]."
^Wilentz, 2004. p. 379: footnote (8) Ellis, 1995. p. 266
^Ellis, 1995. pp. 266–267: "what most rankled Jefferson [and southern Republicans] about the debate over the Missouri Question was that it was happening at all. For the debate represented a violation of the sectional understanding and the vow of silence...."
^Ellis, 1995. p. 268: "Only a gradual policy of emancipation was feasible, but the mounting size of the slave population made any gradual policy unfeasible... and made any southern-sponsored solution extremely unlikely... the enlightened southern branch of the revolutionary generation... had not kept its promise to [relinquish slavery]." and p. 270: "All [of the Revolutionary generation at the time] agreed that ending slavery depended on confining it to the South... isolating it in the South."
^Ammons, 1971. p. 450: "if slavery were confined to the states where it existed, the whites would eventually desert these regions... would the [abandoned area] be accepted as black republics with representation in Congress?.... a common southern view [held] that the best way to ameliorate the lot of the slave and [achieving] emancipation, was by distributing slavery throughout the Union."
^Wilentz, 2004 p. 380 (Table 1 adapted from Wilentz)
^Ammons, 1971. p. 454: "[President Monroe] and other Republicans were convinced that behind the attempt to exclude slavery from Missouri was a carefully concealed plot to revive the party divisions of the past either openly as Federalism or some new disguise. He drew his conclusion from several circumstances.... [Rufus King had emerged] as the outstanding congressional spokesman of the restrictionists... [and that he] was in league with De Witt Clinton [who was pursuing his own presidential ambitions outside the Republican Party]... to [Monroe's] way of thinking, the real objective of these leaders was power... that they were willing to accept disunion if their plans could not be achieved in any other fashion... [and that] Tallmadge was one of Clinton's close associates [added weight to his suspicions]... [The union could not] survive the formation of parties based on a North-South sectional alignment." Ellis, 1995. p. 270: "The more [Thomas Jefferson] thought about the debate over Missouri, the more he convinced himself that the real agenda had little to do with slavery at all"
^Howe, 2004. p. 151: "Republicans [in Congress] accused [King] of fanning flames of northern sectionalism is revitalize the Federalist Party." Dangerfield, 1965. p. 119: "An insinuation, made very early in the House [by Mr. Holmes, who wish to detach the Maine statehood from that of Missouri] was the first to suggest that the purpose behind the movement to restrict [slavery in] Missouri was a new alignment of parties. New York, he hinted, was the center of this conspiracy; and he barely concealed his belief that Rufus King and [Governor] De Witt Clinton—a Federalist and (many believed) a crypto-Federalist—were its leaders." "In 1819 [King had expressed himself] with... too great a warmth in favor of the Tallmadge amendment, and in January 1820, he was re-elected to the by a legislative composed [of both New York factions] ... From then onward, the notion that a Federalist–Clintonian alliance was 'plotting' to build a new northern party out of the ruins of the Republican Ascendancy was never absent from the Missouri debates."
^Ellis, 1995. p. 217: "'Consolidation' was the new term that Jefferson embraced—other Virginians were using it too—to label the covert goals of these alleged conspirators. In one sense the consolidations were simply the old monarchists in slightly different guise... [a] flawed explanation of... the political forces that had mobilized around the Missouri Question [suspected of being organized] to maximize its coercive influence over popular opinion."
^Wilentz, 2004. pp. 385–386: "No evidence exists to show that Clinton or any New England Federalist helped to instigate the Tallmadge amendments. Although most Northern Federalists backed restriction, they were hardly monolithic on the issue; indeed, in the first key vote on Tallmadge's amendments over Missouri, the proportion of Northern Republicans who backed restriction surpassed that of Northern Federalists. "It is well known", the New Hampshire Republican William Plumer, Jr. observed of the restrictionist effort, "that it originated with Republicans, that it is supported by Republicans throughout the free states; and that the Federalists of the South are its warm opponents." Dangerfield, 1965. p. 122: "There is no trace of a Federalist 'plot', at least as regards the origins of the Tallmadge amendment; there was never a Federalist-Clinton 'conspiracy' ..." Howe, 2004. p. 151
^Ammons, 1971. pp. 454–455: "Although there is nothing to suggest that the political aspirations of the Federalists were responsible for the move to restrict slavery in Missouri, once the controversy erupted for Federalists were not unwilling to consider the possibility of a new political alignment. They did not think in terms of a revival of Federalism, but rather of establishing a liaison with discontented Republicans which would offer them an opportunity to re-engage in political activity in some other form than a permanent minority." And p. 458: "In placing this emphasis upon political implications of the conflict over Missouri [e.g. Federalist 'plots' and 'consolidation'], Monroe and other Southerners obscured the very real weight of antislavery sentiment involved in the restrictionist movement."
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Hammond, John Craig (March 2019), "President, Planter, Politician: James Monroe, the Missouri Crisis, and the Politics of Slavery", Journal of American History, 105 (3)
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