Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Traveling Tuesday: U.S. Territories

Traveling Tuesday: U.S. Territories

Photo: Pixabay/CCPapa
How good is your knowledge of U.S. territories? Until recently, mine was scant at best. Most of the continental United States began as various territories that were either purchased or taken in conquest between the late 1700s and late 1800s. But during our nation’s history, the country purchased an island and obtained others as spoils of war. 
Currently, the U.S. administers fourteen territories; five of which are permanently inhabited (Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands). The other nine are not inhabited and include four islands, two atolls, one reef, and one collection of islands. Territories are classified by incorporation and whether they have an “organized” government through an act passed by Congress. Territories are under U.S. sovereignty and may be treated as part of the United States proper in some ways and not in others. The Constitution applies only partially in unincorporated territories. 
Territories were generally created to administer newly acquired land, and most
Photo: Pixabay/AndPond
eventually attained statehood, however, others such as the Philippines, Palau, and the Marshall Islands became independent. Residents of territories cannot vote in U.S. Presidential elections, and they have only non-voting representation in Congress. With the exception of Puerto Rico, the territories are administered by the Office of Insular Affairs (part of the U.S. Department of the Interior). 
Photo: Pixabay/inactionsolutions
Each territory is self-governing with three branches of government, including a locally elected governor and territorial legislature. Interestingly, people born in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands are U.S. citizens by birth, however, people in American Samoa acquire U.S. nationality but not citizenship by birth if they don’t have a U.S. citizen parent. In order to gain citizenship, Samoans must reside in parts of the U.S. (other than American Samoa) and apply for naturalization. 

  • Puerto Rico: Acquired at the end of the Spanish-American War (1899), and has been a U.S. Commonwealth since 1952. 
  • Guam: Acquired at the end of the Spanish-American War (1899). U.S. citizenship was granted in 1950. The island is the home of the Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base. 
  • American Samoa: A territory since 1900 after the end of the Second Samoan Civil War. The islands were divided into two regions, and the U.S took control of the eastern half of the island. 
  • U.S. Virgin Islands: Purchased from Denmark in 1917. U.S. citizenship was granted in 1927. The main islands are St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix.
  • Northern Mariana Islands: The islands became part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific islands in 1947, administered by the U.S. as a U.N Trustee. Failed attempts to reunify Guam and the Marianas in the 1950s and 1960s, resulted in a covenant that established the Northern Mariana Islands as a commonwealth that was approved in 1975 and came into force in 1976. In 1986, the Islands formally left U.N. Trusteeship. 
Have you visited any of the U.S. territories? 


Legacy of Love (on tour and on sale!)

Will their love come at a cost? 
Escaping Boston to avoid a marriage of convenience aimed at garnering society’s respect for her family name in the shadow of her father’s war profiteering, Meg Underwood settles in Spruce Hill, Oregon. Despite leaving behind the comforts of wealth, she’s happy. Then the handsome Pinkerton agent, Reuben Jessop, arrives with news that she’s inherited her aunt’s significant estate, and she must return home to claim the bequest. Meg refuses to make the trip. Unwilling to fail at his mission, Reuben gives her until Christmas to prove why she should remain in Spruce Hill and give up the opportunity to become a woman of means. When he seems to want more than friendship, she wonders if her new-found wealth is the basis of his attraction. 

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/31KOAdA

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