The Northwest Ordinances (1784; 1785; 1787)
About This Text
Passed by the Confederation Congress in 1787, the Northwest Ordinance created a government for the Northwest Territory (modern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota), established the process for admitting new states into the Union, and outlined a bill of rights within the territory. Importantly, the ordinance guaranteed that new states formed from the territory would be equal to the original thirteen states. In addition, the ordinance prohibited slavery and involuntary servitude, a point later emphasized by antislavery politicians such as Abraham Lincoln.
Composed: 1784 CE