in Wisconsin History
The Northwest Ordinance, 1787
Before the ink had dried on the U.S. Constitution, representatives of the thirteen colonies tried to figure out how new states might be added to their union. The result of their deliberations was the Ordinance of 1787, or the Northwest Ordinance, adopted July 13, 1787, by the Second Continental Congress.
The Northwest Ordinance specified four principal things. First, it authorized a provisional government for the vast territory northwest of the Ohio River that the United States had obtained at the end of the Revolutionary War. Second, it provided a method for making new governments out of that territory (the rules under... more...