After the years of the Jefferson President and his embargo and with the panic of 1819, many penny pinched people looked to the west. They saw a way to start over with inexpensive land that came in bundles. In fact, the Land Act of 1820 authorized buyers to purchase 80 acres of the virgin land at only $1.25 an acre, but it had to be purchased in cash. But as more people moved to the west, more states tried to join the Union. As more states entered the Union, the sectional balance begun to untangle. The free North began to argue with slave South over whether the western states should be admitted as slave states or free states.
In 1819 Missouri requested for admission as a slave state. But the House of Representatives foiled the request by passing the incendiary Tallmadge amendment. It said that no more slaves could be brought into Missouri and that all children born to slave parents be free. Anger exploded from the Slave-holding southerners, poor pioneers who favored unrestricted expansion of the west and many northern federalists who saw this as an opportunity to break the “Virginia dynasty.” Eventually the South managed to defeat the Tallmadge amendment in the senate. .
When the Constitution was adopted, the North and South were about equal in wealth and population. But decade after decade, the North grew in wealth and population. It showed with the increasing northern majority in the House of Representatives. But even with the outnumbering North, the South was able to maintain equality since each state had 2 votes in the senate. And at the time, there were only 11 free states and 11 slave states. .
Missouri was the first state to be made from the land from the Louisiana Purchase and West of the Mississippi. And the close threat from the Tallmadge amendment would have set a precedent for the rest of the area. And if the amendment was permanent then what would stop congress from doing the same to the older slave states? This extremely worried the Slave South.