UNPAID LABOR Shaped America's State Boundaries
The United States doubled in size when it bought the Louisiana Territory. Missouri was the first area in the northern part of the Territory to try to become a state. They wanted to be a slave state. This caused a lot of angry talk in congress between the states in the North and the states in the South. They argued until they came up with the Missouri Compromise of 1820. A compromise is a deal in which each side gives up something to gain something. The agreement let Missouri become a state. It made the Unpaid Labor System legal in Missouri. It also let Maine become a state. But in Maine the Unpaid Labor System was against the law. This compromise kept the political power between Northern states and the Southern states even.
The Missouri Compromise also created a boundary line. Areas of the Territory above the line could only become paid labor states. Areas of the Territory below the line could become Unpaid Labor states. The compromise of 1820 and other compromises determined the boundaries of eight (8) states.