Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13, 1787

The Northwest Ordinance should be remembered by all citizens, but particularly should it be recalled by those of us who live in the area which comprised the old Northwest Territory. By description, it is that land that lies west of the Appalachians, north of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi River, and south of the Great lakes. This area ultimately became the five states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin; and it contains a large portion of what is now Minnesota as well.

This area was desired by the citizenry who wished to move West and settle the land. It was territory under dispute, as it was claimed variously by the states of Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. As well, the British still claimed much of this land. Thus, the Continental Congress passed the ordinance which created the Northwest Territory, requiring the cession of claims by the various states. The British claim was not ultimately resolved until the conclusion of the War of 1812.

The Northwest Territory was under the control or governance of the Continental Congress, until the formation of the United States Congress in 1789. On August 7, 1789, the Congress affirmed the Ordinance. Thus it was assured that as the territory was developed it would result in the creation of new states, rather than extensions of existing states into new territory.


Rebecca Mecomber said...

I remember, I remember! 1787! "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." Love it.

Vee said...

God's country, right?

Pearl said...

That was a big chunk of territory, and that's for sure.

Poor natives. Never stood a chance.


vanilla said...

Rebecca, good for you! You learned your history lessons very well. We are also indebted to the 1785 Land Act, which included provisions for the support of public education. (The "school section" in the Public Land Survey System.)

Vee, I can't argue with that! But then, I believe the entire Earth is "God's country." "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein." --Psalm 24:1

Pearl, it must have been "manifest destiny."

Rebecca Mecomber said...

I homeschool my children and we have the foundational documents drilled into us year 'round. ;)