Over the entire country, the issue of slavery loomed large. Politicians were constantly balancing the needs of the slave states against those of the free states. Two years before Grant was born, the Compromise of 1820 had admitted Missouri into the Union as a slave state. It also stated that slavery would not be allowed in any state formed north of Missouri's southern border–which worked as a fine solution until the Mexican War brought even more territory into the country. Therefore, in 1850, when California–which straddled the arbitrary line that defined slave and free–asked to enter the Union, another debate ensued. Finally, the Compromise of 1850 allowed California to enter as a free state and determined that the other territories gained during the war could choose whether to enter as free or slave. Next, the Kansas- Nebraska Act extended the 1850
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Robert E. Lee,
slave states, agrarian slaveholding South, sixteenth President. Secession, slave state.