Northwest Ordinance Revolutionizes Addition of New States to the Union
The United States passed the Northwest Ordinance on July 13, 1787, to establish a set of steps territories would have to follow before becoming a state. It was groundbreaking at the time and led to the organized and rapid expansion of America.
As part of the United States’ victory in the Revolutionary War, Great Britain ceded a 260,000-square-mile territory to the young nation. As states filed competing claims for the same land, the government sought a way to bypass the confusion. Early attempts at such legislation failed to make it through Congress. Then in 1787 Manasseh Cutler (the man on the left side of this stamp) and others drafted the Northwest Ordinance. Continue reading