Missouri 2021 Presents: The Missouri Crisis and the Struggle for Statehood

In the years leading up to Missouri’s admission to the Union, the Missouri Territory stood at the center of fierce national debates on the future of enslaved Black people and the institution of slavery. This discourse has had a lasting influence on the United States and still affects the nation more than 200 years later.

The Missouri Humanities Council and the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri have developed the traveling exhibition Struggle for Statehood which leads viewers through the story of Missouri’s admission. This program draws on that work to explore the controversy of accepting Missouri as the 24th state and how it ultimately leads to the Civil War.

We also hear about other Kinder Institute projects centered around reconsideration of the Missouri Crisis, including new book A Fire Bell in the Past: The Missouri Crisis at 200, Volume I, Western Slavery, National Impasse from Jeffrey L. Pasley, Ph.D., professor and associate director of the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy.

On the panel, Pasley is joined by Steve Belko, Ph.D., and Claire Bruntrager of the Missouri Humanities Council. Belko also details his new title, Contesting the Constitution: Congress Debates the Missouri Crisis, 1819-1821.

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