Land Ordinances of 1785 and 1787

Essential Question

Why were the Ordinance of 1785 and Ordinance of 1787 important?

Land Ordinances of 1785 and 1787

Northwest Ordinance Of 1787

Activity 1: Bound for the Northwest Territory Travel Brochure!

After reading “The Northwest Ordinance and Westward Expansion,” imagine it’s 1788. Create a travel brochure encouraging Americans to settle in the Northwest Territory. The brochure should highlight the positive aspects of the Ordinance that make this area of largely unsettled lands desirable. Travel Brochure Criteria. Your brochure must:

• Be neat and include color.

• Include at least five images and/or pictures (including the map described below).

• Describe the geography. (Where is the territory? Include a map to show the territory and surrounding states.)

• Outline a brief history of the territory (including how it came to be a part of the U.S.).

• Explain civil rights and education within the territory.

• Explain the Native Americans’ role in the territory.

• Explain the rules about slavery within the territory.

• Include a Warning Clause somewhere of possible challenges involved in living in the territory.


Slavery & The Land Ordinances of 1785 and 1787

Art. 6. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted: Provided, always, That any person escaping into the same, from whom labor or service is lawfully claimed in any one of the original States, such fugitive may be lawfully reclaimed and conveyed to the person claiming his or her labor or service as aforesaid.

-The Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Discussion Questions

  • How did the two ordinances turn national land into private holdings?

  • How did the land ordinances of 1885 and 1887 affect slaves?

  • How did the land ordinances of 1885 and 1887 affect Native Americans?

  • What value did the Land Ordinance of 1885 and the Northwest Ordinance express?

  • Why was a section of public land set aside to support public schools under the Land Ordinance of 1785?

Activity 2: What were the effects of the Land Ordinances of 1785 and 1787 on America and its people?

Using the information from this lesson, answer the questions in a thinking map. Complete this assignment digitally or on paper. It will be collected in your portfolio.

Extension Activities