Podcast Episode 159: Jefferson and Missouri

What did Jefferson mean when he wrote about the “fire bell in the night?” Most interpretations focus on slavery and the threats it posed to the stability of the Union, but this is reading history in reverse and it misses Jefferson’s main point. The Union was in trouble because of the potential violation of the Constitution by those interested in political power. The Missouri Compromise represented the first conspicuous case of the sectional conflict spilling over into disunion. I discuss Missouri, Jefferson, and his now famous letter in this episode of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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