Ordinance passed by the Congress of the Confederation, laying out the governmental organization of the Northwest Territory.
The Northwest Ordinance was drawn up by the Congress of the Confederation to regulate the settlement and political organization of the Northwest Territory,
The ordinance was composed of two parts, the first laying out the procedures by which the lands of the Northwest Territory would be converted first into territories and subsequently into states. It specified the appointment by Congress of a territorial governor, a secretary, and three judges who would administer the territory.
The second part consisted of six “articles of compact” similar in character to the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights that provided the process by which the territories would become states once they had reached sixty thousand male inhabitants. The compact specified the division of the territory into three to five states, outlined their boundaries, and forbade slavery but allowed the recapture of slaves.
The ordinance came before the Supreme Court twice: once in Scott v. Jones
Articles of Confederation
Taney, Roger Brooke
Territories and new states