It's hip to be square!
Northwest and Land ordinances, 1787, 1785 respectively
Northwest Land Ordinance 1787
The Northwest Land ordinance of 1787 was adopted by the Congress of Confederation for the government of the Western territories ceded to the United States by the states. It created the Northwest Territory. A territorial governor, a secretary, and three judges were to be appointed by Congress, which would retain control until the population reached 5,000 voting citizens, when an elected legislature would be set up and the territory would obtain a nonvoting representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Also, if any part of it had a population reach 60000 or more it could apply to become a state.
Land ordinance of 1785
The Land Ordinance of 1785 was an ordinance that the congress of the time passed that allowed for sales of land in the Northwest Territory, and this ordinance that they passed also set up standards for land sale that even now we find to be common place. One of these precedents is selling land in square-mile portions. Another effect is that surveyors were used to divvy up the lands for individuals in 6 x 6 townships. This document also allowed for the easier sale of recently acquired Native Americans' lands.