Enabling Act of 1802
The Enabling Act of 1802 was passed on April 30, 1802 by the Seventh Congress of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. This act authorized the residents of the eastern portion of the Northwest Territory
Northwest Territory
The Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, more commonly known as the Northwest Territory, was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from July 13, 1787, until March 1, 1803, when the southeastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Ohio...

 to form the state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 and join the U.S. on an equal footing with the other states. In doing so it also established the precedent and procedures for creation of future states in the western territories.

Ohio was the first state to be created out of the Northwest Territories, as established by the Northwest Ordinance
Northwest Ordinance
The Northwest Ordinance was an act of the Congress of the Confederation of the United States, passed July 13, 1787...

 in 1787 in an act of the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

 under the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

. The Northwest Ordinance laid out the conditions for the creation of a state from a territory. By 1802 Ohio, in the easternmost part of the Northwest Territories, had reached a population of 60,000 and was entitled to begin the transition to statehood. The Enabling Act of 1802 set forth the legal mechanisms and authorized the people of Ohio to begin this process.

The act required the people of Ohio to elect a delegate for each 1,200 people to attend a constitutional convention. These delegates would meet in Chillicothe
Chillicothe, Ohio
Chillicothe is a city in and the county seat of Ross County, Ohio, United States.Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio and is located in southern Ohio along the Scioto River. The name comes from the Shawnee name Chalahgawtha, meaning "principal town", as it was a major settlement of...

 on November 1, 1802, and would decide by majority vote whether or not to form a constitution and state government, and, if so, either provide for the election of representatives for a constitutional convention or to proceed immediately with the matter.

The new constitution and government of Ohio was required only to be "republican, and not repugnant to the ordinance of the thirteenth of July, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, between the original States and the people and States of the territory northwest of the river Ohio." The new state was guaranteed to be equal in status to the existing states, and would have only one Representative to the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 until the next census. The act also granted certain lands held by the Federal government to the new state, notably those set aside for public schools, and provided that 1/20th of the proceeds from sale of Federal lands would fund creations of roads to and through Ohio.

The convention agreed to form a state, subject to the agreement by Congress to several land-use proposals, and wrote the Ohio Constitution
Ohio Constitution
The Ohio Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Ohio, which in 1803 became the 17th state to join the United States of America. Ohio has had two constitutions since statehood was granted....

of 1802. On February 19, 1803, Congress recognized the State of Ohio.

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