Happy Birthday Maine! You don't look a day over 195! Get ready for the Bicentennial next year!

Maine, the largest of the six New England states, lies at the northeastern corner of the country. Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise, which allowed Missouri to enter the union as a slave state and Maine as a free state. The crux of the debate was that neither the pro-slavery nor anti-slavery side wanted its opponents to gain ground in terms of the number of free or slave states. Politics ruled, and a compromise prevailed. For every non-slave state there had to be a slave state for balance.

After much negotiation and discussion, it was agreed that Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts, would be admitted to the Union as a free state and Missouri was admitted as a slave state. All land east of Missouri's southern border was made free.


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