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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
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Slavery in the West

Slavery in the West
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.94

     challenging words:    abolitionists, sovereignty, secede, banned, slavery, runaway, miracle, easily, defeat, invisible, southern, allow, member, view, dying, state
     content words:    Missouri Compromise, Mexican War, United States, Wilmot Proviso, Even Southerners, Pacific Ocean, If California, New Mexico, Senators Henry Foote, Thomas Benton

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Slavery in the West
By Cathy Pearl

1     The Missouri Compromise quieted the arguments over slavery for a little while. After the Mexican War, the arguments started again. A lot of land in the West was added to the United States. Should slavery be allowed in these new territories?
2     People in the North were afraid that the new territories would allow slavery. A member of Congress wanted to ban slavery in the territories won from Mexico. This plan was called the Wilmot Proviso. Southern leaders were very against this plan. It would not pass because the Senate would defeat it.
3     People in the country found it very hard not to pick a side. Abolitionists thought that slavery was wrong. They wanted it banned in the whole country.
4     Slave owners wanted slavery in all of the new territories. They also wanted all escaped slaves in the North to be sent back to them. Even Southerners who didn't own slaves felt this way.
5     Others tried to take a view that was more in the middle. They thought the invisible line from the Missouri Compromise should go all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Slavery would be allowed south of the line. Some liked the idea of popular sovereignty. This meant voters would decide whether to allow slavery in their territory.

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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
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