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The ''Dred Scott v. Sandford'' case increased the tensions between the North and the South. Since the 1820s, the two regions had compromised on the issue of slavery's expansion. One of the principal agreements had been the Missouri Compromise of 1820. The decision in the Dred Scott case declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. This opened the debate over slavery's expansion once again. The decision helped convince many Northerners, including some Ohioans, that they now resided in a "slavocracy" -- a government dominated by Southern slaveholders. The decision also helped divide the Democratic Party into Northern and Southern factions, as many Northern Democrats supported a state's ability to limit slavery within its boundaries. All of these differences helped hasten the coming of the American Civil War.