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New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland had been fixed much as they are at present while they were still Colonies ; the chartered limits of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, which had originally extended to the South Sea, had been cut short at the Mississippi River by the treaty of 1763; New York claimed that she had acquired a vast Western domain by way of her connections with the Iroquois Tribes. The result was that while six States (save alone Pennsylvania, which extended five degrees of longitude westward from the Delaware River,) were shut up to the seaboard, the other seven States collectively laid claim to the whole West.
585. Western Cessions.—The Western lands soon became the subject of a close controversy, which tended sharply to divide the States into two groups. Six claimant States pleaded their ancient charters, and New York her Iroquois connections, as good and sufficient titles to their claims. The six non-claimant States repudiated these titles and urged that, as the West must be wrested from the common enemy by the common effort, it should belong to the common country or the Union. Next to independence and the formation of a government adequate to the needs of the Union, the land question was the most formidable political issue of Revolutionary times. Moreover, it derived much of its importance from its intimate connection with both of those questions. It was greatly complicated also by conflicting boundaries and overlapping claims. A happy escape from the controversy was finally found in the surrender to the United States by the seven States of the lands to which they laid claim, on the pledge given by Congress in 1780 that all lands so ceded should be disposed of for the common benefit of the United States and be settled and formed into distinct republican States, to be admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the old States. New York ceded 1781, Virginia 1784, Massachusetts 1785, Connecticut 1786. The Southern cessions were delayed ; South
Carolina's until 1789, North Carolina's until 1790, and Georgia's until 1802. The first four cessions all lay Northwest of the Ohio River, and they constituted the original public domain.
586. Division of Old States.—But this was not all. Vermont, which was claimed by both New Hampshire and New York, and partly by Massachusetts, had been clamoring for admission to the Union as a State since 1777. Kentucky already had a considerable population, among which there was a strong and constantly growing sentiment in favor of separation from Virginia and the assumption of the position of a new and independent State ; and Maine, then a part of Massachusetts, had all the natural requisites for a separate State. The same may be said of Tennessee.
587. Admission of New States.-There was therefore abundant territory belonging to the Union in 1787 out of which to form new States, and still more in prospect. The people of the old States had no thought of keeping this territory permanently in an inferior political position, but rather proposed to have it formed into new States as rapidly as its settlement would justify. Furthermore, the Vermont and Kentucky questions called for settlement. Out of this state of facts grew the two clauses of the Constitution quoted above, which provide for the admission of new States and for the government of the National territory. But as controversies would arise, and in fact then ex. isted, relative to the division of States, the provision was wisely inserted in regard to obtaining the consent of all the Legislatures concerned as well as of Congress. Still further, the pending controversy as to the Southern cessions caused the insertion of the provision that nothing in the Constitution should be so construed as to prejudice any claim of the United States or of any particular State. Once more, settlements within the National domain were then beginning, and rules and regulations concerning lands and other matters were plainly needed, the making of which would naturally fall to Congress.
588. Territorial Growth. The Constitution is silent on the subject of annexations, but causes that are here immaterial have led to seven annexations of territory, 1
1. Louisiana, purchased of France in 1803, for $15,000,000, embraced the western half of the Mississippi Valley and extended across the lower Mississippi River.
2. Florida, purchased of Spain in 1819, for $5,000,000. This purchase included the peninsula of that name, and a narrow strip of territory running westward along the Gulf of Mexico to Louisiana.
3. The State of Texas, and so much of the Territory of New Mexico as lies east of the Rio Grande. Texas, which was previously a separate nation, was admitted to the Union in 1845 by a joint resolution of Congress.
4. Oregon, the territory lying between parallels 42° and 49° north latitude west of the Rocky Mountains. The title to this acquisition is discovery and occupation, and treaties with Spain, Russia, and England, bearing the dates 1819, 1825, and 1846.
5. The first Mexican annexation embraced the country now owned by the United States south of parallel 42°, and west of the Rio Grande and the sources of the Arkansas, except the second Mexican annexation. This was partly a conquest and partly a purchase from Mexico, in 1848, the consideration being $15,000,000.
6. The second Mexicau annexation, lying in Arizona, sometimes called the Gadsden Purchase, was made in 1853 for $10,000,000.
7. The last annexation was Alaska, purchased of Russia in 1867 for $7,200,000.
589. Territory and Territories.- In the broadest sense, the whole country or dominion is the territory of the United States. But here the term territory means that part of the dominion not formed into States, and this is its common acceptation in our political history. The Territories are of two kinds. A definite district or region having a full Territorial government is an organized Territory ; territory without such a government, and subject only to the laws of Congress, is unorganized. Arizona belongs to the first class, Indian Territory to the second. Alaska has a Governor appointed by the President and is directly subject to Congress.
590. Ordinance of 1787.- Preparations for settling the West and forming new States were already in progress in
1 See Hinsdale: How to Study ai Teach History, Chap. XX.
1787. In 1784 Congress had adopted a Plan for the temporary Government of the Western Territory. But this proved inoperative, and was repealed three years later. In 1785 Congress adopted an Ordinance for Ascertaining the Mode of Disposing of Lands in the Western Territory, as far as they had been ceded by the States and by the Indian tribes. And July 13, 1787, it adopted the Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the River Ohio. This celebrated Ordinance, which was a sort of constitution for the Old Northwest, provided a Territorial Government, and established six articles of compact between the United States and the States to be carved out of the Territory, which should be of perpetual obligation. The fifth article of compact said there should be formed in the Territory not less than three nor more than five States, and defined their boundaries, which, however, were in some particulars subsequently departed from.
591. The Northwest Territory.At the same time that the Federal Convention was framing the Constitution, and Congress the Ordinance of 1787, the Ohio Company of Associates, composed mainly of New England men who had served in the Revolutionary army, were making arrangements for forming a settlement in the Northwest. In fact, it was the representation made to Congress by this company, that it would buy and settle a large tract of the public lands, provided suitable terms were made and a suitable government establishment, that immediately led to the enacting of the Ordinance. In pursuance of this arrangement a settlement was made at Marietta, Ohio, in 1788, and the Territory was fully organized July 15 of that year. Here our Territorial System had its beginning. At the basis of this system lies a new and distinct idea. The Territories of the United States are quite different from the colonies of either ancient or modern times; the Territory is an inchoate State, and has been a powerful factor in the development of the Nation.
592. Types of Territorial Government.--The Ordinance of 1787 gave the Northwest Territory a government that embraced these features : (I) There were a Governor and three judges, first appointed by Congress but later by the President and Senate; (2) these officers, in addition to their executive and judicial duties, were to frame a Ter. ritorial Code by selecting appropriate laws from the statute books of the States; (3) a Territorial Legislature should be elected as soon as the free male inhabitants reached 5,000, consisting of a house of representatives, chosen by the people, and a council, appointed by Congress or the President, from a list of candidates nominated by the house ; (4) Congress should have a veto on all laws, whether selected by the Governor and judges or enacted by the Legislature; (5) the Territory, on reaching the population named, should have a delegate in Congress appointed by the Legislature, with the right to speak but not to vote. This Ordinance was the model of the early Territorial governments.
The later type was less centralized and gave more power to the people. It consists of legislative, executive, and judicial branches fully developed. The Legislature is chosen by the people; the Governor and judges are appointed by the President and Senate, and are paid from the National treasury; the Territorial delegate is elected by the people. The people are subject to certain special laws of Congress, but interests of a merely local character are regulated by local laws.
593. Prohibition of Slavery in the Northwest.- The Ordinance of 1784, as originally reported by a committee of which Mr. Jefferson was chairman, contained a prohibition of slavery in all the Western country, ceded or to be ceded, on and after January 1, 1801, but it was struck out of the bill on its passage through Congress. The Ordinance of 1787 revived the prohibition, but limited it to the Northwest and gave it immediate effect. Article VI. of compacts declares : “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” And this clause was tacitly reaffirmed by Congress when, in 1789, it adapted the Territorial government to the Federal Constitution. This prohibition became a precedent when Slavery in the Territories became an absorbing political question at a later day.
594. Status of a Territory.—This is distinctly inferior to that of a State. The people enjoy full civil rights, but their political rights are limited; their only representative in Congress is a delegate who cannot vote. They have no share in electing the President; they do not choose their