Lesson Plans Lesson Plans

Maine Statehood and the Missouri Compromise

Kathleen Neumann, Maine Historical Society, Cumberland County



  • Social Studies -- Civics & Government
  • Social Studies -- History

7 days

  • 1775-1850
  • Civics & Citizenship
  • Community

Using primary sources, students will explore the arguments for and against Maine statehood and the Missouri Compromise, and the far-reaching implications of Maine statehood and the Missouri Compromise such as the preservation and spread of slavery in the United States. Students will gather evidence and arguments to debate the statement: The Missouri Compromise was deeply flawed and ultimately did more harm to the Union than good.

  • Students will be able to use primary sources to describe the implications Maine statehood and the Missouri Compromise had for the United States.
  • Students will practice the skills involved in analyzing primary sources.
  • Students will learn how to and practice using evidence from primary sources to support a point view.

The debate exercise can be easily modified into a persuasive essay format; instead of having students debate in teams, have them take a stand on the statement/idea and compose a persuasive essay using the debate format. Teachers can also
use the documents and instruct students to answer the essential questions as Document
Based Questions (DBQs).

Download Lesson Plan

A resource developed by the Maine Historical Society with support from the Teaching with Primary Resources grant from the Library of Congress