Us commonwealths and territories list

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us commonwealths and territories list

The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA by Doug Mack

Everyone knows that America is 50 states and… some other stuff. The U.S. territories—American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—and their 4 million people are little known and often forgotten, so Doug Mack set out on a 30,000-mile journey to learn about them. How did they come to be part of the United States? What are they like today? And why aren’t they states? Deeply researched and richly reported, The Not-Quite States of America is an entertaining and unprecedented account of the territories’ crucial yet overlooked place in the American story.
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The 55 States of America: U.S. Territories Explained

List of United States colonial possessions

United States territory is any extent of region under the sovereign jurisdiction of the federal government of the United States , [1] including all waters around islands or continental tracts and all U. The United States territory includes any geography under the control of the United States federal government. Various regions , districts , and divisions are under the supervision of the United States federal government. The United States territory includes clearly defined geographical area and refers to an area of land, air , or sea under jurisdiction of United States federal governmental authority but is not limited only to these areas. The extent of territory is all the area belonging to, and under the dominion of, the United States of America federal government which includes tracts lying at a distance from the country for administrative and other purposes.

These range from Puerto Rico, with over smaller islands and over 3 million residents, to uninhabited territories and disputed territories such as Bajo Nuevo Bank, Navassa Island, Serranilla Bank, and Wake Island. The United States has many political, defensive, social and other reasons to claim these territories as important lands of the United States. However, another important reason to claim them is for their resource potential. Those territories that consist of an island or a cluster of islands are surrounded by sea floors that may contain important mineral, energy, and food resources. By claiming them, the United States claims rights to an exclusive economic zone that extends up to miles offshore or half of the distance to the nearest shoreline claimed by another sovereign state. The map above shows the geographic importance of the exclusive economic zones. Although the United States claims only a few islands in the Pacific Ocean, these territories give the U.

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 Regions that have been admitted as states 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 nearest continent is almost 3, miles 5, kilometers to the northeast. The atoll is 4. Palmyra Atoll is an unoccupied equatorial Northern Pacific atoll administered as an unorganized incorporated territory , the only one of its kind, by the United States federal government.
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The United States of America is a federal republic [1] consisting of 50 states , a federal district Washington, D. States are the primary subdivisions of the United States, and possess a number of powers and rights under the United States Constitution , such as regulating intrastate commerce, running elections , creating local governments , and ratifying constitutional amendments. Each state has its own constitution , grounded in republican principles , and government, consisting of three branches: executive , legislative , and judicial. Each state is represented by two senators, while representatives are distributed among the states in proportion to the most recent constitutionally mandated decennial census. Since the establishment of the United States in , the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to the current total of 50, and each new state is admitted on an equal footing with the existing states. As provided by Article I , Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress exercises "exclusive jurisdiction" over the federal district, which is not part of any state. Prior to passage of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act , which devolved certain Congressional powers to an elected mayor and council , the district did not have an elected local government.

Under United States law , an unincorporated territory is an area controlled by the United States government that is not "incorporated" for the purposes of United States constitutional law. In unincorporated territories, the U. Constitution applies only partially. In the absence of an organic law , a territory is classified as unorganized. In unincorporated territories, " fundamental rights apply as a matter of law, but other constitutional rights are not available".

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