The Missouri Compromise Motivations for Moving West • People moved west primarily to look for economic gain. • Land was plentiful, fertile and cheap. Territories to States • Territories could petition for statehood once their populations reached 60,000. • Once Congress approved, territories could draft state constitutions, elect representatives, and become part of the United States. What about Slavery? • In 1818, there were 10 free states and 10 slave states. • Illinois was admitted as a free state in 1818. • Alabama was admitted as a slave state. • With the balance in favor of slavery with Missouri entering as a slave state, the Missouri Compromise was established. The Missouri Compromise • Allowed slavery south of the 36 degree 30 north latitude line west of the Mississippi River. • Banned slavery north of the line, except in the case of Missouri. • This compromise diverted the nation from entering civil war. Quick Write •After reading pages 206208, In complete sentences, explain why the issue of the expansion slavery was such an important issue of the time.