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Northwest Ordinance

"An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North-West of the River Ohio" (detail)
The Northwest Ordinance, adopted July 13, 1787, by the Second Continental Congress, chartered a government for the Northwest Territory, provided a method for admitting new states to the Union from the territory, and listed a bill of rights guaranteed in the territory. Following the principles outlined by Thomas Jefferson in the Ordinance of 1784, the authors of the Northwest Ordinance spelled out a plan that was subsequently used as the country expanded to the Pacific.
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Today’s Document from the National Archives

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