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13 the Colonial and Terri Torial Systems

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13. THE COLONIAL AND TERRI TORIAL SYSTEMS. Under the generally well-known name of ' *territorial govern ment,* the United States has developed one of the best systems of colonial government that has ever existed. When, acting under the sug gestions of Maryland, several of the colonies between 1780 and 1784 surrendered to the Fed eral authority their claims to lands west of the Alleghenies, some provision had to be made for the government of them. This was done b the Ordinance of 1784, which provided for (1) the division into States; (2) the establishment of temporary government; (3) the establish ment of permanent governments and the ad mission of the prospective States into the Union as full States when a certain number of popu lation had been reached; (4) the maintenance of a republican form of government in the States; (5) and the subjection of each new State to the Articles of Confederation. Gray son's Land Ordinance of 1785 made provision for (1) the survey of the lands; (2) its division by north and south and east and west lines into townships six miles square; (3) and finally its sale in lots to purchasers. By 1787 all of the land north of the Ohio River, known as the Northwest Territory (q.v.), had come under the jurisdiction of Congress. Meantime an emi gration company, called the Ohio Company (q.v.), had been formed in Massachusetts for the purpose of exploiting and settling these western lands. It had failed of success partly because settlers were unwilling to go to a land where so little guarantee was made for personal rights as in the Ordinance of 1784. The head men of the company, therefore, petitioned Con gress for legislation which would give the guar antees desired. The result of this petition was the passage of the Ordinance of 1787. This contained the personal rights asked for, such as trial by jury, habeas corpus, etc., made ar rangements for the treatment of the Territory as one, or later as two, districts, and made provisions for two successive forms of terri torial government. At first a governor and three judges appointed by Congress were to act as a legislature, as well as fulfil their own special functions as executive and judiciary. When there were 5,000 free male inhabitants of full age in the district, they were to receive au thority to elect a general assembly or lower house of a legislature but the upper house or legislative council of five members was to be appointed by Congress from a list of 10 names submitted by the lower house. The two houses meeting jointly were to choose a delegate to Congress who was to have a seat and the right of debating but not of voting. The governor, judges and administrative officers were still appointed by Congress. The keystone of this ordinance and that which placed the American colonial system above all other systems was the provision which allowed the division cf the Territory into three to five parts and when any one had 60,000 inhabitants it was to be admitted to the Union on an equality with the other States.

The Northwest Ordinance has formed the basis for all later territorial governments in the United States. As strong doubt was ex pressed as to the right of Congress of the Confederation to pass such a law, the first Con gress under the Constitution confirmed the or dinance by the Confirmatory Act of 1789 and gave to the new President all the powers therein exercised by the old Congress. This it was

enabled to do under the clause of the Constitu tion which reads that Congress shall have power °to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.° In 1796 Congress passed, for the territory south of the Ohio River, an ordinance which was almost the same as the Northwest Ordinance.

With the great additions of territory (see TERRITORIAL EXPANSION) to the United States by the Louisiana and Florida purchases and sub sequent wars and treaties came the necessity of providing territorial governments. All of these were very similar to that outlined in the Ordinance of 1787. As all of the land now com prised within the United States, with the excep tion of the original 13 States, Vermont, Ken tucky, West Virginia, Texas and California, was at one time or another under territorial government, it is easily-realized how important a good colonial or territorial system of govern ment has been to the United States. The territorial governments, on account of their com mon basis, have been very similar, even though entirely dependent on the will of Congress. At the head of each territorial government stood the governor. He, with any administrative offi cers needed, was appointed by the President for a term of four years and was removable by him with the consent of the Senate. In earlier times the governor was usually sent out from the East, but later some man prominent within the Territory was chosen. The President also appointed judges for the Territories for terms of four years. The male inhabitants of the Ter ritory, of full age, were allowed to elect a legis lature of two houses, a council and a house of representatives. The legislature could pass laws on a large variety of subjects and arrange for local and municipal governments.' The gov ernor, however, had a veto on any laws, but they could be passed over his veto. Congress could at any time override statutes passed by a territorial legislature. This, however, was not often done. The Territory had the privilege of sending a delegate to Washington, to sit in the House of Representatives. He has the salary and all the rights and privileges of a regular member of that House, except the right to vote. Congress could, of course, with draw a territorial government at any time, but this was seldom done. When the Territory reached a certain population (the number has varied much), Congress could admit it as a State by ratifying and accepting a constitution already drawn up by the people, or it could pass an Enabling Act. Under this the vcters elect a convention to draft a constitution. If this was accepted the Territory forthwith became a State on an equality with other States of the Union. Congress at times imposed certain con ditions in the Enabling Act. Whether these conditions were binding on the State if it after ward disregarded them is a mooted point.

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