|A Year of Indiana History - 2016|
Congress passed the Land of 1796 in hopes of encouraging settlement of the Northwest Territory. In 1800, Congress, at the urging of William Henry Harrison, passed the Harrison Land Act of 1800 to remedy the faults of the Land Act of 1796.
Harrison Land Act of 1800
The Land Act of 1796 did not achieve its intended purpose. Congress set the minimum purchase of land too high and had stringent credit requirements. Congress found that the requirements of the Act allowed only land speculators to purchase land, as the amount required to buy the land was too high for the average settler to afford. Squatters began occupying portions of land to which they had no title. The Harrison Land Act reduced the minimum land purchase from 640 acres to 320 acres and allowed the buyer to pay twenty-five percent at the time of purchase, with the remainder due in installments spread over four years. It set the price of the land at two dollars an acre, an amount unchanged from the 1796 law. This revision of the 1796 law allowed many more people to buy land and migrate into the Northwest Territory.
A Year of Indiana History - 2016
© Paul Wonning