TERRITORY

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TERRITORY, in the U. States, a division of the country not included within the limits of either of the states of the confederacy, and which has not been admitted into the Union on the footing of an independent state. The history of the policy of this republic in regard to the public domain, and the manner in which that domain was acquired, has been given in our article Public Lands. The basis of the political organization of these territories was laid by the ordinance for the government of the territory of the U. States northwest of the river Ohio, July 13th, 1787. This ordinance provides for the appointment of a governor by congress, and for a representative assembly, chosen by the people of the territory, for conducting the government of the same, making laws, appointing magistrates, &c. The legislature is authorized to elect a delegate, to represent the territory in the congress of the U. States, who enjoys a seat and the right of debating, but has no vote. It was likewise provided by this ordinance, that there should be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in this territory. After the adoption of the present constitution (1789), this ordinance was so far modified as to give the president, by and with the consent of the senate, the appointment of the territorial officers, and some other powers which had been originally conferred on the congress (1789, ch< 8). As the population in the region above designated gradually increased, new territories were successively created, and admitted into the Union as independent states. Thus Ohio became a state in 1802. Indiana received a separate territorial government in 1800, and was admitted into the Union in 1816. Illinois became a distinct territory in 1809, and a state in 1818. Michigan territory was constituted in 1805. The territory south of the river Ohio was, by act of congress (1790, ch. 41), declared to be subject to the provisions of the ordinance of 1787. This territory was received into the Union, as the state of Tennessee, in 1796. In a similar manner, the territory of Louisiana has been divided into Orleans and Louisiana territory, Missouri state and territory, and Arkansas territory. (See Louisiana Territory.) Alabama territory was constituted in 1817, and became a state in 1820; and Mississippi, which received a territorial government in 1798, was admitted into the Union in 1817. Florida, which wras acquired in 1821, was formed into a government under the name of the territory of Florida, in 1822. (See the separate articles.)