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The Northwest Ordinance is a very important document to show what influenced congress in the newly forming nation. Article 3 is the basis for what we now call state trust lands. Lands owned by the federal government but given to the states for funding education which still exist in some states for that propose. It's very clear in article 3 that congress considered religion meaning general Christianity and it's corresponding morality to be a fundamental part of public education and it remained such until 1947. That was the year that a supreme court under the influence of anti American progressive (socialist) thought decreed that every government entity in the nation would run it's business according to their dictates regarding religion. Of course they demanded the peoples recognition of their reasons for doing so and their authority to do so. It seems wicked and cowardly politicians have loved to have it thus even though this can easily be put in the dustbin of history where it belongs along with other decree's like Dread Scott and Jim Crow rulings. This was their decree which has amounted to yet another form of despotism (mild this time) against the people of the nation and their rights to have their government, by the people and for the people informed by religious, moral and common sense principle. Speaking of the notorious Dread Scott and the various Jim Crow rulings that furthered slavery and oppressed people of color. This ordinance showed the prevailing thought of the majority of the founders of the United States; That slavery the child of despotism just like kings and emperors was soon to be a thing of the past. So it was banned in these territories and the states that would be formed from it. Unfortunately when the founders began to die off and the forces of evil began to learn to manipulate the democratic process like the pagan Greeks of old. A political party was born that would dominate the federal government for the 50 years prior to the civil war that would have none of this "religious morality" that interfered with their covetous practices. That was the birth of the modern Democrat party. The party of slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism. Also of note in article 6 is a provision that fugitive slaves escaping in those territories may be reclaimed by their masters. No doubt a compromise made with the pro slavery forces so that things would not blow up at that time.

A Sec. 13. And, for extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and constitutions are erected; to fix and establish those principles as the basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which forever hereafter shall be formed in the said territory: to provide also for the establishment of States, and permanent government therein, and for their admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with the original States, at as early periods as may be consistent with the general interest:

Sec. 14. It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid, That the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact between the original States and the people and States in the said territory and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit:

Art. 1. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments, in the said territory.

Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them.

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.

To view the entire ordinance follow this hyperlink.

The Northwest Ordinance 1787

© Daniel Martinovich 2002-2013

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