Document’s Name: Northwest Ordinance; July 13, 1787Document’s Author: Unspecified, followed principles outlined by Thomas JeffersonYear Document was written: 1787Textbook chapter or chapters to which the document is relevant as a historical document: The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 is relevant to Chapter 7 because it demonstrates the Revolutionaries’ vision of Government. It also served as a response to conflict between the national government and states trying to claim lands given from the British. It is also relevant to Chapter 8 because it influenced conflict with controlling borders were Indians resided.

Lastly, it is relevant to the chapters 13 which remarks about the abolishment of slavery.Analysis:The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 established a procedure allowing new western regions to become fully equal states. Settlers in the new territory were obligated to appoint governors and judges. Furthermore, “adopt and publish in the district laws of the original states…and report them to Congress” Settlers had to elect a territorial legislature when their population was composed of “five thousand free male inhabitants of full age district”(Northwest Ordinance,1787).

A white man who inhabited the land and owned” fifty acres of property” in the Northwestern territory could vote (Northwest Ordinance,1787). A territory was admitted as a state when the population reached sixty thousand free inhabitants and met the first few requisites (Northwest Ordinance,1787). The ordinance allowed no fewer than three or more than five states to be formed.

It allowed the formation of the current states known as; Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin (Oakes et al., 2015, p. 58).

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 anticipated ideals enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The only exception was the abolishment of slavery (Oakes et al., 2015, P.207).

The people from the Northwestern territory were “entitled to the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus”(Northwest Ordinance,1787).  Accordingly, they also had the right to trial by jury and bail. The ordinance also prohibited cruel and unusual punishments (Oakes et al., 2015, P.207).Additionally, ” Religion, morality, and knowledge..

.schools and the means of education…” were to be encouraged forever (Northwest Ordinance,1787). The end of the American Revolution brought unrest and caused disarray among the new nation’s states. The British surrendered and handed over the Indians’ land to the Americans. The United States Congress planned to sell the land in hopes of using the money to pay off the war debt.

On the other hand, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia planned to claim land to their territories and speculators wanted to make a profit out of them. Even though they had different hopes for the western territories, they “forced Indians to sign treaties ceding their land.” Indians refused to follow through with the treaties. It was difficult to reach a compromise because the states would not acknowledge each other’s claims or those of the national government. The Northwest ordinance served as a compromise between the states, speculators and the national government. (Oakes et al., 2015, p. 206-207)The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provoked conflicts between Americans and Indians.

Americans forced Indians to cede the Northwestern Territory. The Indians were angered because the Treaty of Paris did not “acknowledge Indian claims” and they were often attacked by federal troops and militias. The Indians in the trans-Appalachian territory resisted in ceding their homelands.The national government was not able to control Native Americans, so settlers began to complain. Continuing conflict in the Northwest Territory led to war leader Little Turtle to confront United States troops. Former President George Washington sent troops consecutively led by General Josiah Harmar, Arthur St. Clair, and Anthony Wayne.

As a result, by 1795, Wayne declared victory and Indians ceded “two-thirds of the latter state of Ohio” (Oakes et al., 2015, p. 236-248). To conclude, the Northwest Ordinance also influenced slavery challenges in the states. The ordinance required that “there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, ” which included Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin (Northwest Ordinance,1787). During this time period, every state south of New Jersey practiced slavery.

The upper south states legislatures passed laws easing the emancipation of slaves (Oakes et al., 2015, P.205). The high demand for plantation products such as sugar and tobacco required assistance from slave labor (Oakes et al.

, 2015, P134). Some slave owners felt incommodious because they believed abolishing slavery was difficult and inconvenient. Slavery was slowly eliminated in the North while the South protested against abolishing slavery (Oakes et al., 2015, P.

205). References:Northwest Ordinance; July 13, 1787. (n.d.

). Avalon Project: Documents in law, history, and  diplomacy. Yale University Law School. Retrieved from:, J.

, McGerr, M., Lewis, J. E., Cullather, N., Boydston, J.

, Summers, M., Townshend, C., &     Dunak, K.

(2015).   Of the people: A history of the United States. (3rd ed. Vol.

1) New York, NY: Oxford University Press


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