Organic Act

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An Organic Act, in United States law, is an Act of the United States Congress that establishes a territory of the United States or an agency to manage certain federal lands. The first such act was the Northwest Ordinance, enacted by the U.S. Congress of the Confederation in 1787 in order to create the Northwest Territory. Next, the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 incorporated Washington, D.C. and placed it under the exclusive control of Congress.

The Organic Act for the Territory of New Mexico was part of the Compromise of 1850, passed September 9, 1850. Primarily concerned with slavery, the act organized New Mexico as a territory, with boundaries including the areas now embraced in New Mexico, Arizona, and southern Colorado.

Later Organic Acts have included (in chronological order):

Areas now part of a U.S. state or D.C.:

Current overseas territories:



See also[edit]