The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Historical Context

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Slavery

The issue of slavery threatened to divide the nation as early as the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and throughout the years a series of concessions were made on both sides in an effort to keep the union together. One of the most significant of these was the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The furor had begun when Missouri requested to enter the union as a slave state. In order to maintain a balance between free and slave states in the Union, Missouri was admitted as a slave state while Maine entered as a free one. And although Congress would not accept Missouri's proposal to ban free blacks from the state, it did allow a provision permitting the state's slaveholders to reclaim runaway slaves from neighboring free states.

The federal government's passage of Fugitive Slave Laws was also a compromise to appease southern slaveholders The first one, passed in 1793, required anyone...

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This section contains 1,001 words
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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.