b'The NorthwestOrdinance of 1787Establishing government in theNorthwest Territory was important to thenew nation for many reasons. First, thefrontier had to be strong enough to with-stand any attempt by England, France, orSpain to retake the land for themselves.Americas organized territories needed tohave organized fighting units, or militia, forprotection. British troops were still close Each section contained 640 acres. A sectionby, and they werent sure the new govern- was divided into 160-acre quarters. Moresurveying divided the quarters into farmsment would really last. The British wanted and town lots. Graphic (PP)to control the land to help their Ohio Indianallies. The new American nation would haveto prove it was strong enough to keep the colonies) were squabbling with each other.territories that the Treaty of Paris had They acted as if they were separate littlegiven it. countries. This could not continue if theThe new government also had some United States of America was to survive.serious financial problems. Organizing new The states and federal government neededterritories so land could be easily sold gave to work together to grow a new nation. the leaders a way to raise money for the As you have read in the previousnational treasury. Similarly, soldiers who section, parts of the western territorywere getting more and more upset about were ceded to the federal government bynot being paid for their service during the the states that had claimed the land.war could be given land. War leaders, like Therefore, the Northwest TerritoryGeorge Washington, were especially con- became public domain, meaning it was ownedcerned about these angry soldiers. He by the people of the United States throughwanted them to be rewarded for their sac- their federal government. As public domain,rifices during the war. Free land and a new this territory would be governed by thebeginning were all the government could Congress. The Congress would decide theafford to give them. best way to divide the land, to settle theFinally, establishing new territories land, and to govern the land. The federalwould be a way to strengthen a federal gov- survey system (36-square-mile grid) wasernment that seemed to be getting weaker adopted as the method of surveying andall the time. The thirteen states (formerly charting public domain lands.page 37'