You can find this storyboard in our teacher guide for The Missouri Compromise of 1820.

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The Missouri Compromise of 1820 - Proponents and Opponents

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Storyboard Description

Proponents and Opponents of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 - Have students research those who supported the compromise, as well as what it called for, and those who opposed it and why. Students will be able to analyze and synthesize what points in the compromise were debated on, agreed on, and also what points were heavily debated. This will also give further insight as to why the compromise was so highly debated and why it was eventually agreed upon. Using a T-Chart storyboard, students will compare and contrast the viewpoints from both proponents of the compromise as well as opponents of it. In addition, it will give students a deeper understanding of political debate and compromise, as well as a better understanding of how early American politicians viewed and debated the issue of slavery. The Missouri Compromise was an important point in the history of slavery and can be considered one of the causes of civil war.

Storyboard Text

  • WHY IT WORKED
  • PROPONENTS OF THE COMPROMISE
  • SLAVE
  • FREE
  • WHY IT COULD NOT WORK
  • OPPONENTS OF THE COMPROMISE
  • SLAVE
  • FREE
  • For those that supported the Missouri Compromise, they saw it as essential to solving the question of slavery in the new territories. Supporters argued that it kept the balance of free and slave states. In addition to this, it also was instrumental in postponing further debate and arguing over the question of slavery in newly added states.
  • BELIEF OF STATES' RIGHTS
  • Many opposed the compromise as well. Opponents of the compromise saw it as legislative recognition of the spread of slavery, which many deemed dangerous. Moreover, founders believed the slave question would solve itself, and slavery would die out. The compromise then helped preserve slavery and its expansion, and, therefore, the idea that slavery was acceptable.
  • BELEIF IN CONGRESSIONAL POWER
  • Proponents of the compromise saw it as a preservation of states' rights. Those who supported it, believed it upheld the idea of states' rights and states' ability to determine how they would function, whether that be free or slave. The idea of states' rights was fundamental to many who opposed federal control of the institution of slavery. The compromise upheld Missouri's ability to determine its own future and legislation.
  • FEARS
  • What will happen to the will of the people?!
  • Opponents of the compromise initially believed that the power to determine whether a new state could hold slavery fell into the hands of Congress. Many believed Congress, being part of the federal government, should hold this power. Although this contradicted the idea of states' rights, opponents believed that the federal government should have final say in the future of slavery's extension.
  • FEARS
  • We must FEAR the SLAVE POWER!
  • Proponents of the compromise feared that federal control over the question of extending slavery was dangerous. Early American politicians still held fears over an all-too-powerful federal government, and felt that the compromise was instrumental in preserving states' rights. In addition, they feared that their economic and political stronghold in slavery was threatened.
  • WHO SUPPORTED IT
  • Opponents of the compromise feared that the compromise itself upheld the idea that slavery should, and could, extend into newly added states. Furthermore, they feared that the slave power would increase in Congress, something that would imbalance the free and slave representation in Congress. If the slave power were to become more powerful than it was, free states felt as though their voices would weaken.
  • WHO OPPOSED IT
  • Slavery cannot EXPAND!
  • Ultimately, slave states supported the compromise, as did free states. Henry Clay was instrumental in implementing the compromise, and both sides saw it as a way to skirt around the question of slavery in new territories. In addition to this, it was supported by those who sought to preserve the Union, as well as to further construct state and federal powers.
  • Opponents of the compromise mainly consisted of Northern politicians who feared that the extension of slavery would further preserve it. James Tallmadge of New York even proposed an amendment that would forbid slavery in Missouri, yet it was ultimately shot down by a Senate vote. Free states initially did oppose the compromise, yet eventually supported it on the basis that it preserved a balance in Congress.
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