The NWT comprised much of the Highlands region of old New France (see Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon for a description). The Highlands, however, also covered at their height Aquanishuonigy, the north of Castreleon New, parts of Pennsylvaania and a large part of southern Ontario.
Prior to the French Revolution, the Highlands area was under the de jure rule of the Lieutenant-General. However, due to the relatively low and rather scattered French population, which mostly lived in and around the various French settlements in the area such as Detroit (which functioned as a capital of sorts), La Baye, Sault Ste. Marie, Outaouais, Saint-Ignace and Marquette; and forts such as Forts Frontenac, Pontchartrain, Presque Isle and Duquesne, the area was ruled by the various Fort Commanders and the Chartered Companies that opperated localy. The local Native tribes also held considerable autonomy.
After the breakup of New France in 1789 the Highlands area became semi-independent. It was, however, caught up in the middle during the skirmishes between Louisianne and New Francy during the Neogallican Civil War (1792-1803).
Following the establishment of the NAL in 1803, the Highlands region petitioned for annexation.
The northern region of Pays-d'en-haut was split into three peices:
- The western region, since it was so sparcely populated, was annexed to the Hudson Bay Company's lands.
- The central region, due to the large Anglo-Scotish population, was annexed to the New Yorkshire district of Ontario.
- The remainder became the province of Pays-d'en-haut, and was annexed to Ontario as a district.
The remainder became reorganised as the Northwest Territory, which was the earliest of the NAL's Unincorporated Regions.
During the War of 1828, Louisianne invaded the Ouisconsin Territory in an attempt to bolster its territory at the expence of the NAL. However, it failed, and permanently lost all of its territory north of the Missouri river.
Illinoise became a province in 1832. Both Miami and Ouisconsin became provinces in 1835. Utawia became a province in 1877; Mascoutensi became a province in 1883.
With the admission of these provinces, all that remained of the Northwest Territory was the Kingdom of Beaver Island. Its status and relationship with the NAL was confirmed in the 1885 Treaty of Association and Commerce, which did away with the Northwest Territory as an entity.
Beaver Island, the Northwest Territory's final rump, remains a semi-sovereign kingdom associated with the NAL. The island territory is currently administered by the Rt. Hon. Gerald Scanlon, Esq., Minister for Beaver Island within the Extraterritorial Lands Bureau.