Friday 13 July 2012
Congress unanimously passed the Northwest Ordinance, also known as the Freedom Ordinance, on July 13, 1789. The primary result of the ordinance was the formation of the Northwest Territory as the first organized territory of the U.S. The region included areas south of the Great Lakes, north and west of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River. The ordinance established a precedent by which western expansion would take place through the institution of new states rather than the expansion of existing ones. The ordinance also set the Ohio River as the boundary between free and slave territories.