Great Compromises In American History

Many compromises were important to the founding and early functioning of the United States of America:

The Three-Fifths Compromise, in which the South was granted the ability to count slaves in order to increase its strength in both the national legislature and the presidential selection process. The North forced the South to take a 40% discount on the value of each slave.

The Missouri Compromise, in which the leaders of the young nation allowed slavery to expand into the Louisiana Territory by letting Missouri become a slave state. Anti-slavery forces created a new state out of Massachusetts, called it Maine, and labeled it "free."

The Compromise of 1850, in which the South was reassured that they could keep their slaves. The Compromise included several laws: 1) The Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens of free territories to capture and return runaway slaves from the South, and 2) the rejection of the Wilmot Proviso, which would have banned slavery in the Southwest. The anti-slavery forces received California as a free state, and the sale of slaves was banned in the District of Columbia.

The Compromise of 1877, in which the South obtained the ability to launch Jim Crow laws limiting the now-free -- and often prosperous and powerful – African Americans in exchange for dropping its efforts to steal the 1876 presidential election. Pro-equality forces got a leader from within the "Party of Lincoln" -- and a pro-black education activist at that -- as president.

Source: Great Compromises In American History
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