Slave states and free states

slave statefree stateslave statesfree statesslave and free statesantebellum slave statesantebellum free statefree-statefreePro-slavery
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Slavery in the United States

slaveryslavesslave
In the history of the United States, a slave state was a U.S. state in which the practice of slavery was legal, and a free state was one in which slavery was prohibited or being legally phased out.
The United States became ever more polarized over the issue of slavery, split into slave and free states, in effect divided by the Mason–Dixon line which delineated (free) Pennsylvania from (slave) Maryland.

Origins of the American Civil War

American Civil WarCivil WarPrior to the outbreak
Slavery became a divisive issue; it was a major issue during the writing of the U.S. Constitution, and slavery was the primary cause of the American Civil War.
His victory triggered declarations of secession by seven slave states of the Deep South, whose riverfront or coastal economies were all based on cotton cultivated using slave labor.

Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Thirteenth Amendment13th AmendmentThirteenth
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in December of 1865, abolished slavery throughout the United States.
Since the American Revolution, states had divided into states that allowed or states that prohibited slavery.

History of the United States

American historyU.S. historyUnited States history
In the history of the United States, a slave state was a U.S. state in which the practice of slavery was legal, and a free state was one in which slavery was prohibited or being legally phased out.
The issue of slavery in the new territories was seemingly settled by the Compromise of 1850, brokered by Whig Henry Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas; the Compromise included the admission of California as a free state in exchange for no federal restrictions on slavery placed on Utah or New Mexico.

Maryland

MDState of MarylandMaryland, USA
Beginning with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the dividing line between the slave and free states was called the Mason-Dixon line (between Maryland and Pennsylvania).
Although then a slave state, Maryland remained in the Union during the American Civil War, its strategic location giving it a significant role in the conflict.

Mason–Dixon line

Mason-Dixon lineMason-Dixonstate line
Beginning with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the dividing line between the slave and free states was called the Mason-Dixon line (between Maryland and Pennsylvania).
Later it became known informally as the border between the free (Northern) states and the slave (Southern) states.

Illinois

ILState of IllinoisIll.
The 6 states created from the territory were all free states: Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837), Wisconsin (1848), and Minnesota (1858).
Though it was ostensibly a "free state", there was slavery in Illinois.

Midwestern United States

MidwestMidwesternAmerican Midwest
By the end of the War of 1812, the momentum for antislavery reform, state by state, appeared to run out of steam, with half of the states having already abolished slavery (Northeast), prohibited from the start (Midwest) or committed to eliminating slavery, and half committed to continuing the institution indefinitely (South).
The Midwest lies north of the 36°30′ parallel that the 1820 Missouri Compromise established as the dividing line between future slave and non-slave states.

Northwest Ordinance

Northwest Ordinance of 1787Ordinance of 1787Northwest Ordnance
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, passed just before the U.S. Constitution was ratified, had prohibited slavery in the federal Northwest Territory.
The prohibition of slavery in the territory had the practical effect of establishing the Ohio River as the geographic divide between slave states and free states from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River (an extension of the Mason–Dixon line).

Texas

TXTexanState of Texas
The admission of Texas (1845) and the acquisition of the vast new Mexican Cession territories (1848), after the Mexican–American War, created further North-South conflict.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U.S. in early 1861, and officially joined the Confederate States of America on March 2 of the same year.

Fugitive Slave Clause

Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3Article IV, Section 2 of the U.S. ConstitutionFugitive Slave Clause of the Constitution
As a compromise, the institution was acknowledged though never mentioned directly in the constitution, as in the case of the Fugitive Slave Clause.
During and after the American Revolutionary War under the Articles of Confederation, there was no way to compel free states to capture fugitive slaves from other states and return them to their former masters, although there were provisions for the extradition of criminals.

Compromise of 1850

compromise billCompromise Measures of 1850Crisis of 1850
As part of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted as a free state without a slave state pair.
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of territories acquired in the Mexican–American War.

Mexican–American War

Mexican-American WarMexican WarMexican American War
The admission of Texas (1845) and the acquisition of the vast new Mexican Cession territories (1848), after the Mexican–American War, created further North-South conflict.
Instead of settlement occurring in the central and west of the province, people settled in East Texas, where there was rich farmland and which was contiguous to the southern U.S. slave states.

Missouri

MOState of MissouriMissouri, USA
Controversy over whether Missouri should be admitted as a slave state resulted in the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which specified that Louisiana Purchase territory north of latitude 36° 30', which described most of Missouri's southern boundary, would be organized as free states and territory south of that line would be reserved for organization as slave states.
In 1821, the former Missouri Territory was admitted as a slave state, in accordance with the Missouri Compromise, and with a temporary state capital in St. Charles.

Ostend Manifesto

a faction in US politicsCuba
The difficulty of identifying territory that could be organized into additional slave states stalled the process of opening the western territories to settlement, while slave state politicians sought a solution, with efforts being made to acquire Cuba (see: Ostend Manifesto, 1852) and to annex Nicaragua (see: Walker affair, 1856–57), both to be slave states.
During the administration of President Franklin Pierce, a pro-Southern Democrat, Southern expansionists called for acquiring Cuba as a slave state, but the outbreak of violence following the Kansas–Nebraska Act left the administration unsure of how to proceed.

Maine

MEState of MaineMaine, United States
As part of the compromise, the admission of Maine (1820) as a free state was secured to balance Missouri's admission as a slave state (1820).
Formal secession and formation of the state of Maine as the 23rd state occurred on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise, which geographically limited the spread of slavery and enabled the admission to statehood of Missouri the following year, keeping a balance between slave and free states.

Kansas

KSState of KansasKansan
An effort was initiated to organize Kansas for admission as a slave state, paired with Minnesota, but the admission of Kansas as a slave state was blocked because of questions over the legitimacy of its slave state constitution.
When it was officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854 with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine whether Kansas would become a free state or a slave state.

California

CAState of CaliforniaCalifornia, USA
As part of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted as a free state without a slave state pair.
On September 9, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850, California was officially admitted into the United States as an undivided free state.

Ohio

OHState of OhioOhio, USA
The 6 states created from the territory were all free states: Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837), Wisconsin (1848), and Minnesota (1858).
Slavery was not permitted in the new territory.

Kentucky

KYCommonwealth of KentuckyKentuckian
In the South, Kentucky was created a slave state from Virginia (1792), and Tennessee was created a slave state from North Carolina (1796).
Kentucky was a slave state, and blacks once comprised over one-quarter of its population; however, it lacked the cotton plantation system and never had the same high percentage of African Americans as most other slave states.

Southern United States

SouthSouthernAmerican South
By the end of the War of 1812, the momentum for antislavery reform, state by state, appeared to run out of steam, with half of the states having already abolished slavery (Northeast), prohibited from the start (Midwest) or committed to eliminating slavery, and half committed to continuing the institution indefinitely (South).
By 1856, the South had lost control of Congress, and was no longer able to silence calls for an end to slavery—which came mostly from the more populated, free states of the North.

Bleeding Kansas

Bloody KansasBorder Warviolence in Kansas
The result was that pro- and anti-slavery elements flooded into Kansas with the goal of voting slavery up or down, leading to bloody fighting. Anti-slavery settlers in "Bleeding Kansas" in the 1850s were called Free-Staters and Free-Soilers, because they fought (successfully) to include Kansas in the Union as a free state in 1861.
At the core of the conflict was the question of whether the Kansas Territory would allow or outlaw slavery, and thus enter the Union as a slave state or a free state.

United States Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceAmerican Declaration of IndependenceU.S. Declaration of Independence
The sentiments of the American Revolution (1775-1783) and the equality evoked by the Declaration of Independence stood in contrast to the status of most black Americans.
The controversial question of whether to add additional slave states to the United States coincided with the growing stature of the Declaration.

Free-Stater (Kansas)

Free-StatersFree-StateFree-Stater
Anti-slavery settlers in "Bleeding Kansas" in the 1850s were called Free-Staters and Free-Soilers, because they fought (successfully) to include Kansas in the Union as a free state in 1861.
The name derives from the term "free state", that is, a U.S. state without slavery.

Missouri Compromise

Missouri Compromise of 1820Compromise of 1820Missouri Crisis
Beginning with the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the dividing line between the slave and free states was called the Mason-Dixon line (between Maryland and Pennsylvania). Controversy over whether Missouri should be admitted as a slave state resulted in the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which specified that Louisiana Purchase territory north of latitude 36° 30', which described most of Missouri's southern boundary, would be organized as free states and territory south of that line would be reserved for organization as slave states.
The question had been complicated by the admission in December of Alabama, a slave state, making the number of slave and free states equal.