This is part a series of essays about Hoosier history that will lead up to the celebration of the state’s bicentennial in December 2016.
Indiana became a state in 1816. But its political values, moral compass and physical boundaries were shaped by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
The ordinance spelled out how new states would be added to the Union and the rights that would be guaranteed to citizens.
John J. Patrick, professor emeritus of education at Indiana University, calls the ordinance “a brilliant policy for governing a vast area north and west of the Ohio River — a liberal and innovative plan for colonial administration and national development.”