On April 30, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed the Enabling Act of 1802. This act called for the admittance of Ohio as soon as possible as a state within the United States of America.
The background of the Enabling Act was the rivalry between two different political parties in Ohio: the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. The Federalist Party believed that they could remain in control of government in the Northwest Territory and Ohio if new states remained relatively small. To become a state, a territory had to have sixty thousand people living within its borders. The Federalist governor of the Northwest Territory, Arthur St. Clair persuaded the Territorial Legislature to pass the Division Act in December 1801. The act asked the United States Congress to set Ohio's western boundary at the Scioto River. If the Federalists had their way, none of the areas proposed for statehood would have the required population to apply for entry to the Union. This would have allowed the Federalists to stay in control of government positions in the Northwest Territory and remain in power.
The Enabling Act went from Congress to President Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, for approval. The Enabling Act put a process in place for Congress to admit formally Ohio to the Union on February 19, 1803.
[[Category:Exploration To Statehood]]