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Title 48 of the United States Code outlines the role of United States territories and insular areas in the United States Code.
Politics of American Samoa takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic dependency, whereby the governor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior. Its constitution was ratified in 1966 and came into effect in 1967. Executive power is discharged by the governor and the lieutenant governor. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the legislature. The party system is based on the United States party system. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) was a United Nations trust territory in Micronesia administered by the United States from 1947 to 1994. The Imperial Japanese South Seas Mandate had been seized by the US during the Pacific War. The Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau are today independent states in a Compact of Free Association with the US. The Northern Mariana Islands remain under US jurisdiction, as an unincorporated territory and commonwealth.
The term "United States," when used in the geographical sense, refers to the contiguous United States, the state of Alaska, the island state of Hawaii, the five insular territories of Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa, and minor outlying possessions. The United States shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and maritime borders with Russia, Cuba, The Bahamas, and other countries, in addition to Canada and Mexico. The northern border of the United States with Canada is the world's longest bi-national land border.
The United States Minor Outlying Islands is a statistical designation defined by the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 3166-1 code. The entry code is ISO 3166-2:UM. The minor outlying islands and groups of islands consist of eight United States insular areas in the Pacific Ocean and one in the Caribbean Sea.
The contiguous United States consists of the 48 adjoining U.S. states and the District of Columbia of the United States of America. The term excludes the only two non-contiguous states, Alaska and Hawaii, and all other offshore insular areas, such as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The colloquial term "Lower 48" is also used, especially in relation to Alaska.
In the United States, a territory is any extent of region under the sovereign jurisdiction of the federal government of the United States, including all waters. The United States asserts sovereign rights for exploring, exploiting, conserving, and managing its territory. This extent of territory is all the area belonging to, and under the dominion of, the United States federal government for administrative and other purposes. The United States total territory includes a subset of political divisions.
In the law of the United States, an insular area is a U.S.-associated jurisdiction that is not part of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. This includes fourteen U.S. territories administered under U.S. sovereignty, as well as three sovereign states each with a Compact of Free Association with the United States. The term also may be used to refer to the previous status of the Philippine Islands and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands when it existed.
Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions overseen by the federal government of the United States. The various American territories differ from the U.S. states and Indian reservations as they are not sovereign entities. In contrast, each state has a sovereignty separate from that of the federal government and each federally recognized Native American tribe possesses limited tribal sovereignty as a "dependent sovereign nation". Territories are classified by incorporation and whether they have an "organized" government through an organic act passed by the Congress. American territories are under American sovereignty and, consequently, may be treated as part of the United States proper in some ways and not others. Unincorporated territories in particular are not considered to be integral parts of the United States, and the Constitution of the United States applies only partially in those territories.
The Samoan Islands are an archipelago covering 3,030 km2 (1,170 sq mi) in the central South Pacific, forming part of Polynesia and of the wider region of Oceania. Administratively, the archipelago comprises all of the Independent State of Samoa and most of American Samoa. The land masses of the two Samoan jurisdictions are separated by 64 km (40 mi) of ocean at their closest points.
The Guano Islands Act is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress that enables citizens of the U.S. to take possession in the name of the United States of unclaimed islands containing guano deposits. The islands can be located anywhere, so long as they are not occupied by citizens of another country and not within the jurisdiction of another government. It also empowers the U.S. president to use the military to protect such interests and establishes the criminal jurisdiction of the United States in these territories.
The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States insular areas. It is the successor to the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Department, which administered certain territories from 1902 to 1939, and the Office of Territorial Affairs in the Interior Department, which was responsible for certain territories from the 1930s to the 1990s. The word "insular" comes from the Latin word insula ("island").
Aifili Paulo Lauvao, was twice governor of American Samoa. The founder of the U.S territory's Democratic Party, he had a long career in the legislature and the judiciary in American Samoa.
Pacific Islander Americans are Americans who are of Pacific Islander ancestry. For its purposes, the United States census also counts Aboriginal Australians as part of this group.
The United States House Committee on Insular Affairs is a defunct committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the island country of Samoa. Centered on , it is east of the International Date Line and the Wallis and Futuna Islands, west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 500 kilometers (310 mi) south of Tokelau. American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States and one of two U.S. territories south of the Equator, along with the uninhabited Jarvis Island.
The District of Columbia and United States Territories quarters were a series of six quarters minted by the United States Mint in 2009 to honor the District of Columbia and the unincorporated United States insular areas of Puerto Rico, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The islands commonly grouped together as the United States Minor Outlying Islands were not featured, as the law defined the word "territory" as being limited to the areas mentioned above. They followed the completion of the 50 State Quarters Program. The coins used the same George Washington obverse as with the quarters of the previous 10 years. The reverse of the quarters featured a design selected by the Mint depicting the federal district and each territory. Unlike on the 50 State quarters, the motto "E Pluribus Unum" preceded and was the same size as the mint date on the reverse.
This article summarizes the same-sex marriage laws of states in the United States. Via the case Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage in a decision that applies nationwide, with the possible exception of American Samoa and some Tribal Nations. Same-sex marriages are currently licensed and recognized in all U.S. states, District of Columbia, territories, excepting the aforementioned American Samoa and some Native American tribal nations.
American Samoa consists of a group of two coral atolls and five volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean of Oceania. The first permanent European settlement was founded in 1830 by British missionaries, who were followed by explorers from the United States, in 1839, and German traders in 1845. Based upon the Tripartite Convention of 1899, the United States, Great Britain, and Germany agreed to partition the islands into German Samoa and American Samoa. Though the territory was ceded to the United States in a series of transactions in 1900, 1904, and 1925, Congress did not formally confirm its acquisition until 1929. American Samoans are non-citizen nationals of the United States. Non-citizen nationals do not have full protection of their rights, though they may reside in the United States and gain entry without a visa. Territorial citizens do not have the ability for full participation in national politics and American Samoans cannot serve as officers in the US military or in many federal jobs, are unable to bear arms, vote in local elections, or hold public office or civil-service positions even when residing in a US state. Nationality is the legal means in which inhabitants acquire formal membership in a nation without regard to its governance type. Citizenship is the relationship between the government and the governed, the rights and obligations that each owes the other, once one has become a member of a nation.