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Answered 2006-12-06 20:35:36

All of the states, except Georgia, ceded their western lands to the national government, under the Articles of Confederation. The purpose was so that all states could share in the wealth of the western lands, not just the original states. Virginia was the first to cede western lands and in doing so established the idea that free republican institutions could not survive in one large nation. The purpose was to see new states carved out of the western lands so that all would enjoy the system of a republic type of government. The Northwest Ordinances of 1784 and 1787 provided for the creation of equal, self governing states in the area known as the Northwest Territories. The Ordinances, under the Articles, meant that no original state would obtain and own colonies. All states, new and those to be created, would be equal.

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