Organized incorporated territories of the United States

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United States territorial growth from 1810 to 1920 USA territorial growth.gif
United States territorial growth from 1810 to 1920

Organized incorporated territories are territories of the United States that are both incorporated (part of the United States proper) and organized (having an organized government authorized by an Organic Act passed by the United States Congress, usually consisting of a territorial legislature, territorial governor, and a basic judicial system). There have been no such territories since 1959.

Contents

Regions that have been admitted as states by the United States Constitution in addition to the original thirteen were (most often), prior to admission, territories or parts of territories of this kind. As the United States grew, the most populous parts of the organized territory would achieve statehood. Some territories existed only a short time before becoming states, while others remained territories for decades. The shortest-lived was Alabama Territory at two years, while New Mexico Territory and Hawaii Territory both lasted more than 50 years.

Historical

Of the current 50 U.S. states, 31 were at one time or another part of an organized incorporated U.S. territory. In addition to the original 13, six subsequent states never were. Kentucky, Maine, and West Virginia were each set off from already existing states. [1] Texas and Vermont both entered the Union after having been sovereign states (only de facto sovereignty in Vermont's case, as the region was claimed by New York). California was set off from unorganized land ceded to the United States by Mexico in 1848 at the end of the Mexican–American War.

Current situation

Since 1959, there have been no incorporated U.S. territories formally organized by an Organic Act. When Hawaii was admitted as a state in 1959, the Hawaii Admission Act specifically excluded Palmyra Island which had been part of the Territory of Hawaii, and Palmyra remains today as the only incorporated U. S. territory, the United States Territory of Palmyra Island. Although it still has private landowners, Palmyra is uninhabited, and no Palmyra Island government has been organized under an act of Congress. Palmyra is currently governed as a territory by the United States Department of the Interior. [2] All other U. S. territories except Palmyra are unincorporated (meaning that they are not fully part of the United States and that not all aspects of the United States Constitution automatically apply), whereas other former incorporated territories (excepting only Palmyra Island) are now states. While the District of Columbia functions similarly to an organized incorporated territory, it is governed by entirely different provisions of the United States Constitution as a federal district.

List of organized incorporated territories

The following territories within the United States were officially organized by Congress with an Organic Act:

TerritoryEstablishedCeased to exist
Northwest July 13, 1787
  ([http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=lljc&fileName=032/lljc032.db&recNum=343 C. Cong. 1787, 32:334])
March 1, 1803, when its southeastern portion became the state of Ohio
Southwest May 26, 1790
  (1  Stat.   123)
June 1, 1796, when it became the state of Tennessee
Mississippi April 7, 1798
  (1  Stat.   549)
December 10, 1817, when its western half became the state of Mississippi
Indiana July 4, 1800
  (2  Stat.   58)
December 11, 1816, when its remaining southern portion became the state of Indiana
Orleans October 1, 1804
  (2  Stat.   283)
April 30, 1812, when it became the state of Louisiana
Michigan June 30, 1805
  (2  Stat.   309)
January 26, 1837, when its remaining two–peninsula extent became the State of Michigan
Louisiana July 4, 1805
  (2  Stat.   331)
June 4, 1812, when it was renamed Missouri Territory
Illinois March 1, 1809
  (2  Stat.   514)
December 3, 1818, when its southern portion became the State of Illinois
Missouri June 4, 1812
  (2  Stat.   743)
August 10, 1821, when its southeastern portion became the State of Missouri
Alabama August 15, 1817
  (3  Stat.   371)
December 14, 1819, when it became the state of Alabama
Arkansas March 2, 1819
  (3  Stat.   493)
June 15, 1836, when its remaining extent became the state of Arkansas
Florida March 30, 1822
  (3  Stat.   654)
March 3, 1845, when it became the state of Florida
Wisconsin July 3, 1836
  (5  Stat.   10)
May 29, 1848, when its eastern portion became the state of Wisconsin
Iowa July 4, 1838
  (5  Stat.   235)
December 28, 1846, when its southern portion became the state of Iowa
Oregon August 14, 1848
  (9  Stat.   323)
February 14, 1859, when its southwestern portion became the state of Oregon
Minnesota March 3, 1849
  (9  Stat.   403)
May 11, 1858, when its eastern portion became the state of Minnesota
New Mexico September 9, 1850
  (9  Stat.   448)
January 6, 1912, when its remaining extent became the state of New Mexico
Utah September 9, 1850
  (9  Stat.   453)
January 4, 1896, when its remaining extent became the state of Utah
Washington March 2, 1853
  (10  Stat.   172)
November 11, 1889, when its remaining extent became the state of Washington
Kansas May 30, 1854
  (10  Stat.   277)
January 29, 1861, when its eastern portion became the state of Kansas
Nebraska May 30, 1854
  (10  Stat.   277)
March 1, 1867, when its remaining extent became the state of Nebraska
Colorado February 28, 1861
  (12  Stat.   172)
August 1, 1876, when it became the state of Colorado
Nevada March 2, 1861
  (12  Stat.   209)
October 31, 1864, when it became the state of Nevada
Dakota March 2, 1861
  (12  Stat.   239)
November 2, 1889, when its remaining extent was split and became the states of North Dakota and South Dakota
Arizona February 24, 1863
  (12  Stat.   664)
February 14, 1912, when its remaining extent became the state of Arizona
Idaho March 3, 1863
  (12  Stat.   808)
July 3, 1890, when its remaining extent became the state of Idaho
Montana May 26, 1864
  (13  Stat.   85)
November 8, 1889, when it became the state of Montana
Wyoming July 25, 1868
  (15  Stat.   178)
July 10, 1890, when it became the state of Wyoming
Oklahoma May 2, 1890
  (26  Stat.   81)
November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory and became the state of Oklahoma
Hawaii April 30, 1900
  (31  Stat.   141)
August 21, 1959, when it became the state of Hawaii
Alaska August 24, 1912
  (37  Stat.   512)
January 3, 1959, when it became the state of Alaska

See also

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References

  1. Riccards, Michael P. (1997). "Lincoln and the Political Question: The Creation of the State of West Virginia". Presidential Studies Quarterly. 27 (3): 549–564. Retrieved April 5, 2016 via Questia.
  2. "GAO/OGC-98-5 – U.S. Insular Areas: Application of the U.S. Constitution". U.S. Government Printing Office. November 7, 1997. Retrieved March 18, 2018.