This year is a milestone for the State of Missouri as Missourians prepare to celebrate 200 years as a state.
The Show Me State was welcomed into the United States in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise.
Named after the Native American people who initially lived on the land, the property was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
According to the Library of Congress (LOC), early settlers were mainly French settlers who moved to the area after the War of 1812.
“In January of 1818, the Speaker of the House of Representatives presented the first petition of the Territory of Missouri requesting statehood,” the LOC states. “The question of Missouri’s admission as slave or free state led statesman Henry Clay to devise the Missouri Compromise of 1820, admitting Missouri as a slave state while admitting Maine as a free state, and prohibiting slavery in Louisiana Territory north of Missouri’s southern border.”
The compromise was short lived and later deemed unconstitutional.
“This resolution proved temporary. Congress passed the Compromise of 1850, a series of laws that amended the Fugitive Slave Act, abolished the slave trade in Washington, D.C., and admitted California to the Union as a free state. The Compromise of 1850 also established territorial governments in Utah and New Mexico, but left the issue of slavery in the new territories to be decided by the local residents,”. “In 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act served to abrogate the Missouri Compromise. And in 1857, as a part of the Dred Scott decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the compromise unconstitutional by ruling that Congress had no power to bar slavery from a territory, as it had in 1820. Four years later, the slavery debate erupted in civil war.”
Missouri was welcomed as the 24th state to change from a territory to a part of the United States of America on Aug. 10, 1821.
There was great value in the land and the access it had as an important hub of transportation and commerce.
“Missouri was the westernmost state in the Union until Texas was granted statehood in 1845. St. Louis, located at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in the southeastern part of the state, was called the “Gateway to the West” because it served as a staging area for wagon trains in the nineteenth century,” the LOC said. “At the beginning of the twentieth century, the city captured the world’s attention while hosting the much celebrated Louisiana Purchase Exposition (St. Louis World’s Fair) of 1904.”
Today, Missouri is home to approximately 6,000,000 people; boasts the largest beer-producing plant in the country and continues to be a vital thoroughfare for commerce.