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This ordinance provided: (1) in territories having less than five thousand free men, for a governor, chosen by Congress, and a council composed of the governor and three appointed judges (the judges likewise being chosen by Congress) and possessed of certain legislative powers; (2) in territories containing five thousand free men, for a governor appointed by Congress, for an assembly, the upper house of such assembly to be appointed by Congress and the lower house to be elective; (3) for the admission of a territory to statehood when its population reached 60,000; and (4) for freedom of worship, the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, exemption from cruel and unusual punishments, and the prohibition of slavery. In its main provisions this ordinance was reënacted in 1790 for the territory south of the Ohio River. The later legislation on the matter of territorial government, however, has generally provided for the appointment of the governor by the President and Senate, a legislature of two houses (one or both of which may be elective) and a judiciary appointed by the President and Senate, all important territorial officers thus being appointed by the national government.
The above ordinance, and subsequent laws based upon it, are obviously intended to provide an organization of government to territories which are prospective States. As a matter of fact, nearly all of the States outside of the original thirteen have gone through the two stages of territorial government provided by the above ordinance; i.e. first, government by an appointed governor and council, and second, government by an appointed governor and a legislature of which the upper house has been appointed and the lower elected.
Alaska.—The purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 had no material effect at the time upon the policy of the United States respecting its dependent territories. Alaska was considered valuable only for its fisheries, it was sparsely inhabited, and it did not require a complex organization of government. It was not until the discovery of gold caused the great influx of Americans that territorial government was demanded
by Alaska and considered by Congress. Territorial organization was conferred by Congress in 1912.
New Policy toward Dependencies.—The great break between the old policy and the new dates from the time of the Spanish War. Since 1898 the United States has faced the problem of organizing varieties of government for types of dependencies radically different from its former territories. The dependencies acquired about this time were the following: Hawaii (annexed by joint resolution of Congress, 1898) and Porto Rico and the Philippines (ceded by Spain under the treaty of peace at the close of the Spanish War.)
Hawaii.-The government for the Hawaiian Islands did not present special difficulties; there was a liberal admixture of Americans and Europeans in the population, and the country had regularly been annexed by act of Congress and was thus to be considered legally a part of the United States. There existed no reason why Hawaii should not be treated as the territories had previously been. A regular territorial government was, therefore, organized and established.
Porto Rico and the Philippines.—The status of Porto Rico and the Philippines, however, was different. They had been acquired, not by deliberate annexation, but as a result of conquest; their peoples were in the main alien in blood and customs from our own, and in the Philippine Islands included a considerable number of barbarous or semi-barbarous tribes. It seemed inconceivable that the United States should extend the privileges of representative government and American citizenship to the people of such dependencies.
On a technical question relative to the power of Congress over the tariffs in the dependencies, the matter was brought before the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1901 its decision in what is called the Insular Cases was handed down. By this opinion the court declared that Congress had the power to decide when territory was completely incorporated into the United States, and that Congress might make for territory not thus completely incorporated a code of laws different from the
laws applying to the commonwealths. The practical effect of this decision was that Congress has the right to distinguish between dependencies of radically different characteristics, to allow to one kind of dependency a representative democratic government and to withhold such government from another kind, and to organize a government of a special kind suited to the peculiar conditions in any dependency.
Under the powers thus interpreted to be in its hands, Congress organized a government for Porto Rico and the Philippines. A special form of territorial government was provided for Porto Rico, in which the executive power resides in a Governor appointed by the President of the United States. The legislative functions are vested in a legislature which consists of two elective houses: the Senate, composed of nineteen members, and the House of Representatives, composed of thirty-nine members. The territory is represented in Congress by a “resident commissioner” with the power of debate but not of vote.
An act establishing civil government in the Philippine Islands was passed by Congress July 1, 1902, and was later modified by the "Jones Act" of August 29, 1916. Under these acts the government is composed of a civil governor (governorgeneral) and a vice-governor, each appointed by the President of the United States. Under the Governor are the secretaries of six executive departments. There is a legislature consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives, the members of both houses being elected by popular vote. In addition a Council of State created by executive order subsequent to the present organic act forms the connecting link between the executive and legislative branches of government. The Council of State is composed of the Governor, the presidents of the two chambers and the executive secretaries. It is the apparent desire of Congress to elevate the people of these islands to such a degree of political intelligence that full independence may be granted them.
Government authority in Guam and Samoa, and in the
Virgin Islands (purchased from Denmark in 1917), is in the hands of the Navy Department.
The United States, unlike other countries which possess important oversea dependencies, does not maintain a Colonial Department. The general supervision of affairs in the Philippines, Porto Rico and the Canal Zone is entrusted to the War Department. In the case of the Philippines this supervision is exercised by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, which is one of the Bureaus under the War Department.
Other Dependencies of the United States.-Outside of the dependencies mentioned above, the United States stands in the relation of protector, or guarantor, to some other territories, including the following:
Canal Zone.-By the Isthmian Canal Convention of Nov. 18, 1903, concluded between the Republic of Panama and the United States, the latter obtained a perpetual right of occupation, use, and control, of and over a zone of land ten miles wide across the Isthmus of Panama, paying for this right the sum of $10,000,000 and (from 1913) $250,000 a year. The United States has guaranteed the independence of the Republic of Panama. For the government of the Canal Zone Congress provided that the President shall appoint a governor and such officers as may be necessary.
Liberia.-Liberia, a republic on the west shore of Africa, was founded in 1820 by the American Colonization Society for the purpose of providing for the return to Africa of the negroes. This republic is under the protection of the United States, but the United States has no desire to change the status, as by annexing the country.
Cuba.-Cuba is at the present time virtually a protectorate of the United States. The Cuban constitution provides that the government shall enter into no foreign relations without the consent of the government of the United States and that the Cuban government must permit the United States to intervene in its affairs if such intervention seems necessary to prevent internal disturbance.
V. EFFECTS OF ACQUISITION OF DEPENDENCIES UPON
GREAT STATES Acquisition of Dependencies has Affected Great States.The above outline of the forms of the growth and character of dependencies and the governmental policies pursued by the controlling nations toward them does not take into account the effect of dependencies upon the great nations themselves. As a matter of fact, the acquisition by the great nations of the world of dependencies has had marked effects upon the nations themselves. Internal politics, foreign relations, even the manner of thought of the people, have been radically reconstructed during this era of territorial aggrandizement, an era beginning with the latter half of the nineteenth century.
Nullification of Principle of Nationality.—One great principle evolved from the French Revolution era was the principle of nationality, meaning in effect that a people allied by race, religion, and habits should ordinarily compose one homogeneous independent state. It is obvious that the acquisition of dependencies occupied by people widely different in race, religion, and habits from those of the controlling state has largely nullified the force of this principle. France and Italy with their North African Mohammedans, England with its huge Indian territory, and the United States with its semi-savage Philippine tribes, are no longer homogeneous in population. The principle of nationality as a force in world politics is no longer considered a factor.
Chances for Misunderstandings between Great States.International relations, again, have been profoundly affected. Whenever the dependencies of one power border upon those of another, especially where the boundaries are but vaguely indicated, chances for continual friction are present. Thus France and England formerly collided in India. Thus Russia and England have in the past been mutually suspicious of each other's acts in Persia and along the northernmost boundaries of Indian territories. Thus Japan and Russia came in conflict in