Which road opened the Northwest Territory?


Which road opened the Northwest Territory?

John McAdam:

McAdam was a Scottish inventor, and after making a fortune in the New York colony, he returned to his homeland in 1783. Upon his return, he discovered the roadways of his area were horrendous, and he began to conduct experiments in road building. By 1798, he had discovered it was necessary to raise the road up slightly from the surrounding land to allow drainage, then cover the roadway with large rocks (further aiding in drainage), and finally covering the road with fine crushed rocks or slag. Between 1816 and 1827, he wrote books on road making, and after his theories became sound and approved, the British adopted his macadam roads, and his idea spread to other nations as well.

Answer and Explanation:

The Cumberland Road or the National Road opened up the Northwest Territory to settlers.

After independence, the new American nation's people had a desire to move westward, as it was banned by the Proclamation of 1763 by the British. Several states laid claim to land north of the Ohio River, but in the end, those lands went to the national government in order to sell land to pay off debts. In 1787, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance to govern the territories north of the Ohio, west of the Allegheny Mountains, and east of the Mississippi.

In order to facilitate settlers, Congress needed to establish a road or roads, and Congress began to raise money for the endeavor in 1802. In 1811, construction began on the Cumberland Road in Cumberland, Maryland. By 1818, a macadam road was in place to Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). In 1833, portions of the road were placed under state control, and these states, often, charged tolls to provide for the maintenance of the road. The road was completed in 1837 ending at Vandalia, Illinois.

Learn more about this topic:

The Northwest Ordinance: Definition & Summary


Chapter 1 / Lesson 14

What was the Northwest Ordinance? Learn the history of the Northwest Ordinance. Understand when the Northwest Ordinance was implemented and what its significance was.

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