The debate over slavery ultimately helped drive the United States into civil war, but before it did, there were decades of careful balance between slaves states and free states. In this lesson, students learn about that balance and its geography, including the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850.


Partner Resources for this Lesson Plan include:

Slave States, Free States - Middle School - on Nearpod



  • Label slave states and free states.
  • Identify and draw geopolitical changes brought about by the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850.
  • Compare United States maps of 1820 and 1850.
  • Use charts to illustrate the 1850 slave population in slave states.


Downloadable Resources

Resources for this lesson are available in print and digital form. A free teacher account is required to access them.

This Lesson Plan is included in the following units:

Related Resources