Diplomatic Nationalism, Territorial Expansion and the Missouri Admission Crisis (1818-1821)


As Missourians pursued entrance into the Union of states, the United States dramatically extended its western and southern borders. During this virtual presentation on June 29, 2021, Dr. William S. Belko, executive director of the Missouri Humanities Council, places Missouri’s quest for statehood in the larger context of international diplomacy and the consequent and aggressive territorial expansion of the country in the wake of the War of 1812. It was a rapid westward migration that produced a more severe sectional conflict over the expansion of slavery and the forced retreat of the American Indian.

This Missouri Bicentennial event is part of a series of programs centered on the “Struggle for Statehood,” a traveling exhibit commemorating the bicentennial of Missouri statehood. It was created by the Missouri Humanities Council in partnership with the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri, partners in the Bicentennial Alliance. Support for programming is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit thelibrary.org/statehood for more information about the traveling exhibit and program series.


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