Northwest Ordinance
Written by: Tom Landro, Cate Perdion, and Nathalya Diosa.

The states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan exist today because of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. The ordinance, considered to be one of the most significant achievements of the Congress of the Confederation, stated to the world that the United States was going to settle and occupy lands north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River. Until then, the land was prohibited from development. The creation of the ordinance fueled the westward expansion of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson had originally proposed the ideas written in the Northwest Ordinance in 1784, and suggested that states should relinquish their claims west of the Appalachian Mountains. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia all claimed territory in this area prior to the Proclamation of 1763 and after the 1783 Treaty of Paris. Great Britain also held land claims that were not sorted out until the War of 1812.

The Northwest Ordinance was passed on July 13, 1787, about one month after the Constitutional Convention began meeting for the first time. The ordinance outlined how this new territory would be governed, which included rights such as freedom of religion, trial by jury, and public education that were shared in the states. The ordinance banned slavery, which started the long line of events that led to the Civil War over 60 years later. Originally Jefferson wanted to ban slavery after the year 1800, however, the ordinance put this ban into effect immediately.

The document also stated that the territory should be divided into "not less than three nor more than five States." It included a three-step method for admitting a state to the union. The first step included a congressionally appointed governor, secretary, and three judges; the second step an elected assembly and a non-voting delegate to Congress when the population reached 5000 "free male inhibitants of full age;" the third step a state constitution be drafted and union membership be requested when the population reached 60,000. The first state created was Ohio in 1803.

The ordinance made a referance to the rights of Native Americans: "The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their land and property shall never be taken without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed." Despite this statement, many Native Americans in Ohio refused to reconize any treaty created after the American Revolutionary War that ceded lands north of the Ohio River. A conflict known as the Northwest Indian War resulted in the worst defeats ever suffered by the United States against the Native Americans. Eventually they were defeated and allowed American whites to continue to settle west.

Vocabulary:
Proclamation of 1763- Issued on October 7, 1763 made by King George III after Great Britain obtained French Territory in North America.
1783 Treaty of Paris- Treaty that, signed on September 3, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States.
War of 1812- A war fought between Great Britain and the United States that lasted until 1814.
Constitutional Convention- A convention in the United States where men meet to draft the Constitution in 1787.
Civil War- A war between citizens of the same country. More specifically a war fought between the North and South of the United States about slavery.
American Revolutionary War- (1775-1783) A war between Great Britain and the thirteen British colonies in the United States that were fighting for their independence.
Northwest Indian War- Also known as the "Little Turtle's War," was fought between the United States and several Native American tribes for the Northwest Territory.

Review Questions:
1. Which state was not a product of the Northwest Ordinance?
A. Ohio
B. New York
C. Wisconsin
D. Illinois
E.Michigan

2. What were the steps for admitting the new states to the Union?
i. elected assembly and a non-voting delegate to Congress when the population reached 5000 "free male inhibitants of full age;"
ii. slaves must be in the territory
iii. state constitution be drafted and union membership be requested when the population reached 60,000
iv. congressionally appointed governor, secretary, and three judges
A. i ,ii, iii and iv
B. i, ii and iv
C. i, ii, and iii
D. i, iii and iv
E. i, ii, and iii

3. What was specifically not allowed in the new territories?
A. Practicing the Methodist faith?
B. Smoking
C. Slavery
D. Alcohol
E. Protesting

4. What was the result of the Northwest Ordinance?

5. True or False?
Thomas Jefferson originally proposed the Northwest Ordinance.

6. True or False?
Great Britain did not have any claims to the land involved in the Northwest Ordinance.

Sources:
"Home." Our Documents -. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true>.
"IHB: Northwest Ordinance of 1787." IHB: Northwest Ordinance of 1787. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://www.in.gov/history/2695.htm>.
"Northwest Ordinance." - New World Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Northwest_Ordinance>.

Links:
Transcript of the Northwest Ordinance -
http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=8&page=transcript
Facts and historic maps -
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Northwest_Ordinance.aspx