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- DescriptionThe first indepth examination of the architect of the Missouri Compromise In 1820 the Missouri controversy erupted over the issue of slavery in the newly acquired lands of the Louisiana Purchase. It fell to Jesse Burgess Thomas (1777-1853), a junior U.S. senator from the new state of Illiis, to handle the delicate negotiations that led to the Missouri Compromise. Thomas's maturity, good judgment, and restraint helped pull the country back from the brink of disunion and created a compromise that held for thirtyfour years. In Dividing the Union, Matthew W. Hall examines the legal issues underlying the controversy and the legislative history of the Missouri Compromise while focusing on Thomas's life and influence. As Hall demonstrates, Thomas was perfectly situated geographically, politically, and ideologically to deal with the Missouri controversy. The first speaker of the Indiana Territorial General Assembly and one of the first territorial judges in Illiis Territory, Thomas served in 1818 as the president of the Illiis State Constitutional Convention. That he was never required to clearly articulate his own views on slavery allowed Thomas to maintain a degree of neutrality, and, as Hall shows, his varied political career gave him the experience necessary to craft a compromise. Thomas's final version of the Compromise included shrewdly worded ambiguities that supported opposing interests in the matter of slavery. By weaving Thomas's life story into the history of the Missouri Compromise, Hall offers new insight into both a pivotal piece of legislation and an overlooked but important figure in nineteenthcentury American politics.
- Author BiographyMatthew W. Hall, an attorney in the field of natural resources, formerly served as general counsel for the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard College and Law School and has had a lifelong interest in American history. He has been an independent scholar and writer since 2002.
- Author(s)Matthew W. Hall
- PublisherSouthern Illinois University Press
- Date of Publication30/11/2015
- SubjectRegional History
- Place of PublicationCarbondale
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintSouthern Illinois University Press
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight825 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine23 mm
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