• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

Sixteenth Congress: March 4, 1819, to March 3, 1821
Sixteenth Congress: March 4, 1819, to March 3, 1821
  • First session—December 6, 1819, to May 15, 1820
  • Second session—November 13, 1820, to March 3, 1821
  • (First administration of James Monroe, 1817–1821)
Historical Background

Throughout 1819, the issue of slavery remained at the forefront of American consciousness. The debate between proslavery and antislavery factions in Congress over the admission of Missouri to the Union thrust the nation into the first sustained discussion of the issue. The Missouri Compromise of March 1820 provided for the admission of Maine as a free state, authorized Missouri to form a constitution with no restriction on slavery, and barred slavery from the rest of the Louisiana Territory north of 36° 30′ latitude. The compromise, as historians have ...

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