Why was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 important?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

Posted on

The Northwest Ordinance was important for two major reasons.  The first of these was that it banned slavery in the territories of the Northwest.  This ensured that these would be free states when they entered the Union.  But that is not the most important thing about this law.  The most important thing is that it created a system whereby territories could become states.  This meant that there would be no situation in which (for example) the Ohio region could be a colony of Virginia.  This meant that the US would not have to worry about fights between states over land or about colonists in new territories feeling abused by whichever state was their "mother country."  This allowed the US to expand in an orderly and stable way.

mkoren's profile pic

Posted on

The Northwest Ordinance was very important. This law created the Northwest Territory. Three judges and a governor would rule the territory. It also stated that from three to five states would be created from this territory. These states were Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. It further stated that no slavery would be allowed. Also, there had to be freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The most significant aspect of the Northwest Ordinance is that it established a process for how a territory could become a state. When the population of a territory reached 5,000 free men, they could elect a legislature. The legislature would work with the governor and the three judges of the territory. When there were 60,000 free citizens living in the territory, the territory could ask to become a state. The Northwest Ordinance established an orderly process for territories to follow in order to become a state.

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