AN'NEXA'TION (Lat. anac.cus, a tying or binding to, from ad, to secure, to tie). The acquisition by a State of territory previously in dependent or in the possession of another power. Though strictly applicable, perhaps, only to the extension of a State's sovereignty over ad joining territory (as in the annexation of Alsace Lorraine to Germany as the result of the Franco-Prussian War, and of California and adjacent territory to the United S,,ates as the result of the war with Mexico) the term is ap plied to any territorial acquisition, near or re mote, as in the cession of Porto Rico and the adjacent territory to the United States, and the forcible annexation of the Boer republics in South Africa to the British Empire. Mere cession of a territory does not nullify the existing laws, until otherwise ordained, and, until possession is taken, the prior authorities retain their police functions, although, technically speaking, sover eignty ceases upon completion of cession. There upon the inhabitants of the annexed terri tory are absolved from their allegiance to their former sovereign and their legal relation to lihn is dissolved, but not their relations to each other. Titles to property are not affected by cession, ex cepting in the substitution of the new sovereign for the old as lord paramount. See TENURE.
As annexation is a legal fact, resulting in the virtual incorporation of foreign territory in the annexing State, it is not affected by such extra legal or informal acts as discovery, occupation, or military conquest, but requires for its comple tion the official and legal action of the State. by
treaty duly made and ratified, by proclamation of the sovereign, or by legislative act. Thus, it has been recently decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, in the so-called In sular cases (1901), that Porto Rico remained foreign territory, notwithstanding the destruc tion of the Spanish sovereignty and gov ernment and the occupation of the island by the military forces of the United States until the ratification of the treaty of peace with Spain in 1898, and that it was this act which extended the sovereignty of the United States over that island. Where the transfer of title is not acquiesced in by the for me• sovereign, there must be an effective occupa tion and a virtually complete destruction of the previously existing authority. But the annex ation may be complete notwithstanding the active or passive opposition of the inhabitants of the territory affected, as in the case, previ ousl• referred to, of the Boers in South _Utica and the native population in the Philippine Islands. See -ALLEGIANCE; COLONY; CONQUEST, and the authorities there referred to.