Land Ordinance of 1785

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<p>The Land Ordinance of 1785 set forth how the government of the United States would measure, divide and distribute the land it had acquired from Great Britain north and west of the Ohio River at the end of the American Revolution.</p>
<p>In the Treaty of Paris (1783), which formally ended the American Revolution, Britain relinquished the Ohio Country to the United States. However, the Confederation Congress faced numerous problems gaining control of the land. Native American tribes did not agree with the claim that the land belonged to the United States. Numerous states also claimed the land. These states, when they were still colonies of Britain, had received permission from the king to control all land between their colonies on the East Coast and the Pacific Ocean. The Confederation Congress faced hard financial times at the American Revolution's conclusion. The Articles of Confederation did not allow the federal government to tax its citizens. The Confederation Congress hoped to sell the land in the Ohio Country to raise funds. The government also feared the large number of illegal settlers or &quot;squatters&quot; in the Ohio Country. Some congressmen believed that these people might form their own country, since the Appalachian Mountains left them so isolated from the rest of the nation. The Confederation Congress immediately began to negotiate with the Native Americans and the states, so that the federal government could claim sole ownership of the land.</p>