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Free and slave states were determined largely by climate. That is, land south of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line (between Pennsylvania and Maryland) was suitable for cash crops such as tobacco, cotton and sugar,and therefore slavery, while land north of it was more suitable for subsistence farming (free labor).

The other factor is that with slavery being so contentious, legislators tried to keep a reasonable balance of states. The 13 Colonies had seven free and six slave states (divided by the Mason-Dixon Line). Vermont was the eighth free state, and Kentucky and Tennessee the seventh and eighth slave state. As long as the "U.S." was just east of the Mississippi River, one could expect that Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would be free, while the future Missisippi, Alabama, and Florida would be slave.

The Louisiana Purchase changed all that. Because the territory is "funnel shaped" out of 12 future states, only Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri were likely slave states, the remainder probably free (with the possible exception of Kansas). The acquisition of Texas changed things back; Southerners thought that it could be broken up into "several" slave states to balance the excess Louisiana Territory free states.

In determining the status of "free" or slave states, the U.S. Congress by and large followed the will of the people in the state, although there were some attempts to "stuff" states (e.g. Kansas) with pro slavery people.

Free and slave states were determined largely by climate. That is, land south of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line (between Pennsylvania and Maryland) was suitable for cash crops such as cotton and sugar,and therefore slavery, while land north of it was more suitable for subsistence farming (free labor).

The other factor is that with slavery being so contentious, legislators tried to keep a reasonable balance of states. The 13 Colonies had seven free and six slave states (divided by the Mason-Dixon Line). Vermont was the eighth free state, and Kentucky and Tennessee the seventh and eighth slave state. As long as the "U.S." was just east of the Mississippi River, one could expect that Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would be free, while the future Missisippi, Alabama, and Florida would be slave.

The Louisiana Purchase changed all that. Because the territory is "funnel shaped" out of 12 future states, only Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri were likely slave states, the remainder probably free (with the possible exception of Kansas). The acquisition of Texas changed things back; Southerners thought that it could be broken up into "several" slave states to balance the excess Louisiana Territory free states.

In determining the status of "free" or slave states, the U.S. Congress by and large followed the will of the people in the state, although there were some attempts to "stuff" states (e.g. Kansas) with pro slavery people.

Free and slave states were determined largely by climate. That is, land south of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line (between Pennsylvania and Maryland) was suitable for cash crops such as tobacco, cotton and sugar,and therefore slavery, while land north of it was more suitable for subsistence farming (free labor).

The other factor is that with slavery being so contentious, legislators tried to keep a reasonable balance of states. The 13 Colonies had seven free and six slave states (divided by the Mason-Dixon Line). Vermont was the eighth free state, and Kentucky and Tennessee the seventh and eighth slave state. As long as the "U.S." was just east of the Mississippi River, one could expect that Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would be free, while the future Missisippi, Alabama, and Florida would be slave.

The Louisiana Purchase changed all that. Because the territory is "funnel shaped" out of 12 future states, only Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri were likely slave states, the remainder probably free (with the possible exception of Kansas). The acquisition of Texas changed things back; Southerners thought that it could be broken up into "several" slave states to balance the excess Louisiana Territory free states.

In determining the status of "free" or slave states, the U.S. Congress by and large followed the will of the people in the state, although there were some attempts to "stuff" states (e.g. Kansas) with pro slavery people.

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Free and slave states were determined largely by climate. That is, land south of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line (between Pennsylvania and Maryland) was suitable for cash crops such as cotton and sugar,and therefore slavery, while land north of it was more suitable for subsistence farming (free labor).

The other factor is that with slavery being so contentious, legislators tried to keep a reasonable balance of states. The 13 Colonies had seven free and six slave states (divided by the Mason-Dixon Line). Vermont was the eighth free state, and Kentucky and Tennessee the seventh and eighth slave state. As long as the "U.S." was just east of the Mississippi River, one could expect that Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would be free, while the future Missisippi, Alabama, and Florida would be slave.

The Louisiana Purchase changed all that. Because the territory is "funnel shaped" out of 12 future states, only Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri were likely slave states, the remainder probably free (with the possible exception of Kansas). The acquisition of Texas changed things back; Southerners thought that it could be broken up into "several" slave states to balance the excess Louisiana Territory free states.

In determining the status of "free" or slave states, the U.S. Congress by and large followed the will of the people in the state, although there were some attempts to "stuff" states (e.g. Kansas) with pro slavery people.