TERRITORIES, in the United States, cer tain parts of the national domain which have not been formed into States. Starting with 13 States it has been the policy of the United States in taking in new territory to require of the inhabitants evidences of fitness for self government. This nation first added to its ter ritory by the•Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, 823, 000 square miles. Florida and another terri tory to the total of 72,000 square miles were annexed in 1819; Texas in 1845; Oregon in 1846; the Mexican cession in 1848; Gadsden Purchase (30,000 square miles) in 1853; Alaska (591,000 square miles) in 1867; the Philippine and Hawaiian Islands in 1891; Guam and Porto Rico in 1898 and later (about 125,000 square miles); the Panama Canal Zone (436 square miles) in 1904; the Danish West Indies (now the Virgin Islands) of 142 square miles in 1917.
Of the above •only the District of Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii are regarded technically as °territories?) The others that have not been granted Statehood are held as °possessions," it having been decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1901, in the "Insular Cases," that Congress can create appropriate forms of government in regions outside the States and legislate differently for such possessions.
The Philippines are at present governed by a commission of seven members appointed by i the President. The commission is vested with the power of legislation and administration sub to the veto power of Congress. As yet no legislature has been established but the act of Congress passed in June 1902, under which the Philippines are now governed, provides that within twoyears following the date of the enactment of the said law, if a state of pacifi cation exists in the island, an election shall be held for members of a legislative assembly of which the upper house is to consist of the mem bers of the Philippine Commission. As soon as this is done the powers of local legislation now exercised by the Philippine Commission will pass to the legislative assembly. As yet no great degree of local self-government is allowed nor are the islands represented at Washington either by a commissioner or dele gate. The inhabitants are not citizens of the
United States and the determination of their political and civil status is left to Congress. The Samoan Islands and Guam are governed by military and naval governors, respectively. !Of the unorganized domestic Territories Alaska has a governor, judiciary and other officers, ap pointed by the President, but has neither legis lature nor delegate in Congress. A measure of -local self-government has recently been allowed incorporated towns of 300 inhabitants. The District of Columbia is governed by three com missioners, two of whom are appointed by the President from civil life and the third is de tailed from the engineer corps. They have general charge of the .administration of the District, including the appointment of local officers. The law-making body as in the case of Alaska and the Philippine Islands, is Con gress, but the District has no delegate in the House of Representatives. Half the expense of governing is borne by the United States, the - other half by residents.
Hawaii has obligated itself to incorporate the inhabitants into the American Union as soon as consistent with the principles of the Constitution. All the States thus far formed out,of territory acquired from foreign nations except Texas and California have passed through the territorial stage. No general rule exists as to the period of pupilage through which the inchoate State shall be required to pass. In some instances, as in the case of Kan sas, it has been as short as four years. while on the other hand Arizona and New Mexico after 60 years of territorial status were finally admitted as States.• The nearest approach to a. general rule is the requirement that the population of the Territory shall be as great as the ratio of representation in Congress, but this has often been disregarded, usually for po litical reasons, Thus Nevada was admitted for political purposes when its population scarcely exceeded 20,000, while Utah was refused admis sion long after its population exceeded the Congressional ratio. For a more detailed dis cussion of this subject see the articles on each separate State and Territory.