Continental Congress: the Northwest Ordinance - Research Article from Shaping of America, 1783-1815 Reference Library

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Excerpt from "The Northwest Ordinance"

Issued on July 13, 1787
Published in Documents of American History, edited by
Henry S. Commager, 1943

On July 13, 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance, a detailed step-by-step plan that outlined how territories could become states. This ordinance and the Land Ordinance of 1785 were the only major lasting pieces of legislation passed by the Continental Congress operating under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation functioned as the nation's first constitution, remaining in effect from 1781 until 1788.

The Northwest Ordinance was based on the Ordinance of 1784, written by Virginia statesman Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). The 1784 ordinance was Jefferson's plan for the organization of government in the Old Northwest. The Old Northwest included territory north of the Ohio River to the Great Lakes, extending east to the Pennsylvania border and west to the Mississippi River. Also in 1784, Virginia had just finished ceding...

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This section contains 3,453 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Continental Congress: the Northwest Ordinance Encyclopedia Article
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Continental Congress: the Northwest Ordinance from UXL. ©2005-2006 by U•X•L. U•X•L is an imprint of Thomson Gale, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. All rights reserved.
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