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Northwest Ordinance Bibliography

Taken from Lessons on the Northwest Ordinance of 1787
Learning materials for secondary school courses in American history, government, and civics
by John J. Patrick
developed by the ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education
September 1987

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The following bibliography on the 1787 Northwest Ordinance has been prepared especially for secondary school teachers of American history, government, and civics. These books and journal articles might be used by teachers as background reading in preparation for teaching lessons in this volume. They might also be assigned as extra reading by students interested in extending their knowledge of ideas treated in these lessons.

A few items in this bibliography include an ED number, which identifies them as resources in the ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) system. These resources are available from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS). Contact: EDRS: telephone 800-443-3742; e-mail:; Web site: ( Abstracts and descriptive information on these ERIC documents are published in Resources in Education (RIE). Most ERIC documents are available for viewing in microfiche at libraries that subscribe to the ERIC collection as well as in a searchable database at their Web site.

  • Berkhofer, Robert E. "Jefferson, the Ordinance of 1784, and the Origins of the American Territorial System." William and Mary Quarterly, 29 (April 1972): 231-262.
  • Billington, Ray Allen. Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier. New York: Macmillan, 1967.
  • Bloom, John Porter, ed. The American Territorial System. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1973.
  • Buley, R. Carlyle. The Old Northwest: Pioneer Period, 1815-1840. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1950; reprint Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Burnett, Edmund Cody. The Continental Congress, 1774-1789. New York: W.W. Norton, 1964.
  • Eblen, Jack Ericson. The First and Second United States Empires. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1968.
  • Hinsdale, B. A. The Old Northwest: The Beginnings of Our Colonial System. Boston: Silver, Burdett and Company, 1899.
  • Indiana Historical Society. Proceedings of the Indiana Historical Society, 1830-1886. Indianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company, 1897.
  • Jacobson, Daniel. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787: A Special Teaching Unit. East Lansing: Michigan State University Alumni Association, 1987.
  • Jensen, Merrill. The New Nation: A History of the United States During the Confederation, 1781-1789. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1950.
  • Lindley, Harlow, et al. History of the Ordinance of 1787 and the Old Northwest Territory. Marietta, Ohio: Northwest Territory Celebration Commission, 1937.
  • Madison, James H. The Northwest Ordinance and Constitutional Development in Indiana. Paper presented at the Symposium on the Constitution and Northwest Ordinance in the Education of Citizens held at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, March 13, 1986. ED 268 057.
  • ---The American Constitution and the Old Federalism: Views From the Hoosier State. Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution Lecture Series. Bloomington: The Poynter Center of Indiana University, 1985.
    Malone, Dumas. Jefferson the Virginian. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1948, pp.373-423.
    Onuf, Peter S. "From Constitution to Higher Law: The Reinterpretation of the Northwest Ordinance." Ohio History, 94 (Winter/Spring 1985): 5-33.
  • ---The Origins of the Federal Republic: Jurisdictional Controversies in the United States, 1775-1787. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983.
  • ---Statehood and Union: A History of the Northwest Ordinance. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.
    Patrick, John J. Lessons on the Northwest Ordinance: A Teaching Unit of Six Lessons. Bloomington, Indiana: Social Studies Development Center of Indiana University, 1986. ED 272438.
  • ---Teaching About the Constitution and Northwest Ordinance in Secondary School. An occasional paper of the Social Studies Development Center of Indiana University, 1987. ED number to be assigned.
  • ---"The Constitution and the Northwest Ordinance in the Education of Citizens." International Journal of Social Education, 2 (Spring 1987): 5-15.
  • ---and Richard C. Remy. Lessons on the Constitution. Washington, D.C.: Project '87 of the American Historical Association and the American Political Science Association, 1985. ED 258891.
  • Pease, Theodore C. "The Ordinance of 1787." Mississippi Valley Historical Review, 25 (September 1938): 167-180.
  • Philbrick, Francis S. The Rise of the West, 1754-1830. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.
  • Rakove, Jack N. The Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the Continental Congress. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979.
  • Risinger, C. Frederick. "Resources for Teaching About the U.S. Constitution and the Northwest Ordinance." International Journal of Social Education, 2 (Spring 1987): 99-108.
  • Shriver, Philip R. "America's Other Bicentennial." Old Northwest, 9 (Fall 1983): 219-235.
  • Taylor, Robert M., Jr., ed. The Northwest Ordinance, 1787: A Bicentennial Handbook. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1987.