Tag: rollback
m (update from Wikipedia)
 
(2 intermediate revisions by one other user not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
  +
{{Short description|Constituent political entity of the United States}}
 
{{Infobox subdivision type
 
{{Infobox subdivision type
| name = U.S. state
+
| name = State
| alt_name = [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|Commonwealth]] (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia)
+
| alt_name = [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|Commonwealth]]<br>{{nobold|(the self-designation of four states)}}
  +
| map = [[File:Map of USA States with names white.svg|330px]]
| alt_name1 =
 
| alt_name2 =
 
| alt_name3 =
 
| alt_name4 =
 
| map = [[File:Blank US Map.svg|275px]]
 
 
| category = [[Federated state]]
 
| category = [[Federated state]]
| territory = {{flag|United States of America}}
+
| territory = [[United States]]
| upper_unit =
 
 
| start_date =
 
| start_date =
| start_date1 =
 
| start_date2 =
 
| start_date3 =
 
| start_date4 =
 
| legislation_begin =
 
| legislation_begin1 =
 
| legislation_begin2 =
 
| legislation_begin3 =
 
| legislation_begin4 =
 
| legislation_end =
 
| legislation_end1 =
 
| legislation_end2 =
 
| legislation_end3 =
 
| legislation_end4 =
 
| end_date =
 
| end_date1 =
 
| end_date2 =
 
| end_date3 =
 
| end_date4 =
 
 
| current_number = 50
 
| current_number = 50
 
| number_date =
 
| number_date =
  +
| population_range = Smallest: [[Wyoming]], 578,759<br>Largest: [[California]], 39,512,223<ref name="Census2019">{{cite web |title=Population, Population Change, and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019 (NST-EST2019-alldata) |url=https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-state-total.html |website=Census.gov |publisher=United States Census Bureau |access-date=8 February 2020 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20200126071436/https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-state-total.html |archive-date=January 26, 2020 |url-status=live }}</ref>
| type =
 
  +
| area_range = Smallest: [[Rhode Island]], {{Convert|1,545|sqmi}}<br>Largest: [[Alaska]], {{Convert|665,384|sqmi}}<ref name=areameasurements>{{cite web| title=State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates| url=https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/state-area.html| publisher=U.S. Census Bureau| location=Washington, D.C.| access-date=March 14, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180316004512/https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/state-area.html| archive-date=March 16, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref>
| type1 =
 
| type2 =
 
| type3 =
 
| type4 =
 
| status =
 
| status1 =
 
| status2 =
 
| status3 =
 
| status4 =
 
| exofficio =
 
| exofficio1 =
 
| exofficio2 =
 
| exofficio3 =
 
| exofficio4 =
 
| population_range =
 
| area_range =
 
 
| government = [[State governments of the United States|State government]]
 
| government = [[State governments of the United States|State government]]
  +
| subdivision = [[County (United States)|County]] (or [[County (United States)#County equivalents|equivalent]])
| government1 =
 
| government2 =
 
| government3 =
 
| government4 =
 
| subdivision =
 
| subdivision1 =
 
| subdivision2 =
 
| subdivision3 =
 
| subdivision4 =
 
 
}}
 
}}
{{Administrative divisions of the United States}}
 
   
A '''U.S. state''' is a [[federated state]] of the [[United States|United States of America]] that shares its [[sovereignty]] with the [[federal government of the United States|United States federal government]]. Since the admission of [[Hawaii]] as a state in August 1959, there are fifty U.S. states. Because of the shared sovereignty between a U.S. state and the U.S. federal government, an American is a citizen of both the federal entity and of his or her state of [[Domicile (law)|domicile]].<ref>See the [[Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution]].</ref> [[Citizenship in the United States|State citizenship]] and [[Residency (domicile)#United States of America|residency]] are flexible and no government approval is required nor obtained to [[Freedom of movement|move between states]], except by court order (e.g., for [[parole]]d convicts). States are further subdivided into [[County (United States)|counties]] or county-equivalents, which may or may not be assigned some individual governmental authority. Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia use the official title of ''[[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|Commonwealth]]'' rather than ''State''.
+
In the [[United States]], a '''state''' is a [[Federated state|constituent]] [[Polity|political entity]], of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a [[political union]], each state holds [[government]]al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its [[sovereignty]] with the [[Federal government of the United States|federal government]]. Due to this shared sovereignty, [[Americans]] are [[Citizenship in the United States|citizens]] both of the [[federal republic]] and of the state in which they [[Domicile (law)#United States|reside]].<ref>{{cite web| last1=Erler| first1=Edward| title=Essays on Amendment XIV: Citizenship| url=http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/14/essays/167/citizenship| publisher=The Heritage Foundation| access-date=January 12, 2016| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170724095029/http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/14/essays/167/citizenship| archive-date=July 24, 2017| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to [[Freedom of movement under United States law|move between states]], except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders (such as [[paroled]] convicts and [[minor (law)|children]] of divorced spouses who are [[child custody|sharing custody]]).
   
  +
[[State governments of the United States|State governments]] are allocated power by the people (of each respective state) through their individual [[State constitution (United States)|constitutions]]. All are grounded in [[Republicanism in the United States|republican principles]], and each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with [[Separation of powers|separate and independent powers]]: [[Governor (United States)|executive]], [[State legislature (United States)|legislative]], and [[State court (United States)|judicial]].<ref>{{cite web | url=http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faq/faqtoc.aspx?subject=1 | title=Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature | publisher=[[Minnesota State Legislature]] | access-date=January 12, 2016 | archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20131021082117/http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faq/faqtoc.aspx?subject=1 | archive-date=October 21, 2013 | url-status=live | df=mdy-all }}</ref> States are divided into [[County (United States)|counties]] or county-equivalents, which may be assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign. County or county-equivalent structure varies widely by state, and states also create other [[Local government in the United States|local governments]].
The [[United States Constitution]] allocates certain powers to the federal government. It also places limitations on the federal and state governments. State governments are allocated power by the people (of each respective state) through their individual constitutions. By ratifying the United States Constitution, the States transferred certain [[Limited government|limited]] [[sovereign]] powers to the federal government. Under the [[Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution|Tenth Amendment]], all powers not delegated to the federal government nor prohibited to the states are retained by the states or the [[People of the United States|people]]. Historically, the tasks of [[public safety]] (in the sense of controlling crime), public education, public health, transportation, and [[infrastructure]] have generally been considered primarily state responsibilities, although all of these now have significant federal funding and regulation as well (based largely upon the [[Commerce Clause]], the [[Taxing and Spending Clause]], and the [[Necessary and Proper Clause]] of the U.S. Constitution).
 
   
  +
States, unlike [[Territories of the United States|U.S. territories]], possess a number of powers and rights under the [[United States Constitution]]. States and their citizens are represented in the [[United States Congress]], a [[bicameral]] legislature consisting of the [[United States Senate|Senate]] and the [[United States House of Representatives|House of Representatives]]. Each state is also entitled to select a number of electors (equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state) to vote in the [[Electoral College (United States)|Electoral College]], the body that directly elects the [[President of the United States]]. Additionally, each state has the opportunity to [[Ratification|ratify]] [[Constitutional amendment#United States|constitutional amendments]], and, with the consent of Congress, two or more states may enter into [[interstate compact]]s with one another. The [[Police power (United States constitutional law)|police power]] of each state is also recognized.
Over time, the [[U.S. Constitution]] has been amended, and the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed. The general tendency has been toward centralization and [[Incorporation (Bill of Rights)|incorporation]], with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did. There is a continuing debate over [[states' rights]], which concerns the extent and nature of the states' powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government as well as the rights of individual persons. Debates over states' rights were a contributing factor in the outbreak of the [[American Civil War]].
 
   
  +
Historically, the tasks of local [[Law enforcement in the United States#State|law enforcement]], [[Education in the United States|public education]], [[Health care in the United States|public health]], regulating intrastate commerce, and local [[Transportation in the United States|transportation]] and [[infrastructure]] have generally been considered primarily state responsibilities, although all of these now have significant federal funding and regulation as well. Over time, the Constitution has been amended, and the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed. The general tendency has been toward centralization and [[Incorporation (Bill of Rights)|incorporation]], with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did. There is a continuing debate over [[states' rights]], which concerns the extent and nature of the states' powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government and the rights of individuals.
The [[U.S. Congress]] may admit new states on an equal footing with existing ones; this last happened in 1959 with the admission of [[Alaska]] and [[Hawaii]]. The U.S. Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to leave unilaterally, or secede from, the Union, but the [[U.S. Supreme Court]] has ruled<ref name="books.google.com">Aleksandar Pavković, Peter Radan, [http://books.google.com/books?id=-IjHbPvp1W0C Creating New States: Theory and Practice of Secession], p. 222, Ashgate Publishing, 2007.</ref><ref name="Texas v. White">[http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0074_0700_ZO.html ''Texas v. White''], 74 U.S. 700 (1868) at [[Cornell University Law School]] Supreme Court collection.</ref> secession to be unconstitutional, a position driven in part by the outcome of the American Civil War.
 
   
  +
The Constitution grants to Congress the authority to [[Admission to the Union|admit new states]] into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776 by [[Thirteen Colonies|Thirteen British Colonies]], the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an [[equal footing]] with the existing states.<ref>{{cite web|title=Doctrine of the Equality of States|url=https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/15-doctrine-of-the-equality-of-states.html|website=Justia.com|access-date=September 12, 2019}}</ref> The Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to [[Secession|secede]] (withdraw) from the Union. Shortly after the [[American Civil War|Civil War]], the [[Supreme Court of the United States|U.S. Supreme Court]], in ''[[Texas v. White]]'', held that a state cannot unilaterally do so.<ref name=PavkovićRadan>{{cite book| last1=Pavković| first1=Aleksandar| last2=Radan| first2=Peter| title=Creating New States: Theory and Practice of Secession| date=2007| page=222| publisher=Ashgate Publishing| url=https://books.google.com/books?id=-IjHbPvp1W0C| isbn=978-0-7546-7163-3| access-date=March 14, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20151120115643/https://books.google.com/books?id=-IjHbPvp1W0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false| archive-date=November 20, 2015| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref><ref>{{cite web| title=Texas v. White 74 U.S. 700 (1868)| url=https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/74/700/| publisher=Justia| location=Mountain View, California| access-date=January 12, 2016| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304092022/https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/74/700/| archive-date=March 4, 2016| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref>
==Map==
 
{{USA midsize imagemap with state names}}
 
<center>''Click on a state on the map to go to its main article''</center>
 
==List of states==
 
{{main|List of U.S. states}}
 
<center><br />{{Col-begin}}{{col-5}}{{flag|Alabama}} <br /> {{flag|Alaska}} <br /> {{flag|Arizona}} <br /> {{flag|Arkansas}} <br /> {{flag|California}} <br /> {{flag|Colorado}} <br /> {{flag|Connecticut}} <br /> {{flag|Delaware}} <br /> {{flag|Florida}} <br /> {{flagicon image|Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg}} [[Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia]] {{col-5}} {{flag|Hawaii}} <br /> {{flag|Idaho}} <br /> {{flag|Illinois}} <br /> {{flag|Indiana}} <br /> {{flag|Iowa}} <br /> {{flag|Kansas}} <br /> {{flag|Kentucky}} <br /> {{flag|Louisiana}} <br /> {{flag|Maine}} <br /> {{flag|Maryland}} {{col-5}} {{flag|Massachusetts}} <br /> {{flag|Michigan}} <br /> {{flag|Minnesota}} <br /> {{flag|Mississippi}} <br /> {{flag|Missouri}} <br /> {{flag|Montana}} <br /> {{flag|Nebraska}} <br /> {{flag|Nevada}} <br /> {{flag|New Hampshire}} <br /> {{flag|New Jersey}} {{col-5}} {{flag|New Mexico}} <br /> {{flag|New York}} <br /> {{flag|North Carolina}} <br /> {{flag|North Dakota}} <br /> {{flag|Ohio}} <br /> {{flag|Oklahoma}} <br /> {{flag|Oregon}} <br /> {{flag|Pennsylvania}} <br /> {{flag|Rhode Island}} <br /> {{flag|South Carolina}} {{col-5}} {{flag|South Dakota}} <br /> {{flag|Tennessee}} <br /> {{flag|Texas}} <br /> {{flag|Utah}} <br /> {{flag|Vermont}} <br /> {{flag|Virginia}} <br /> {{flag|Washington}} <br /> {{flag|West Virginia}} <br /> {{flag|Wisconsin}} <br /> {{flag|Wyoming}} {{col-end}}</center>
 
   
  +
==States of the United States==
==Federal power==
 
  +
{{Further|topic=each U.S. state|List of states and territories of the United States}}
The [[Supreme Court of the United States]] has interpreted the [[Commerce Clause]] of the [[Constitution of the United States]] which has expanded the scope of [[federal power]]. The Cambridge Economic History of the United States says, "On the whole, especially after the mid-1880s, the Court construed the Commerce Clause in favor of increased federal power."<ref>{{cite book|author=Stanley Lewis Engerman|title=The Cambridge economic history of the United States: the colonial era|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=6sDXBGMbrWkC|year=2000|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=978-0-521-55307-0|page=[http://books.google.com/books?id=6sDXBGMbrWkC&pg=PA464 464]}}</ref> In ''[[Wickard v. Filburn]]'' {{ussc|317|111|1942}}, the court expanded federal power to regulate the economy by holding that federal authority under the commerce clause extends to activities which are local in character.<ref>{{cite book|author=David Shultz|title=Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=I_f6Oo9H3YsC|year=2005|publisher=Infobase Publishing|isbn=978-0-8160-5086-4|page=[http://books.google.com/books?id=I_f6Oo9H3YsC&pg=PA522 522]}}</ref> For example, Congress can regulate railway traffic across state lines, but it may also regulate rail traffic solely within a state, based on the theory that wholly intrastate traffic can still have an impact on interstate commerce. In recent years, the Court has tried to place limits on the Commerce Clause in such cases as ''[[United States v. Lopez]]'' and ''[[United States v. Morrison]]''.{{Clarify|limiting the FEDERAL government, I presume. Shouldn't this say this?|date=June 2011}}
 
  +
{{See also|List of U.S. state abbreviations}}
   
  +
The 50 U.S. states, in alphabetical order, along with each state's flag:
Another source of Congressional power is its spending power—the ability of Congress to impose uniform{{Clarify|date=June 2011}}{{Citation needed|date=June 2011}}<!--assertion re uniformity constraints on power of congress to tax needs clarification and support--> taxes across the nation and then distribute the resulting revenue back to the states (subject to conditions set by Congress). A classic example of this is the system of federal-aid highways, which includes the [[Interstate Highway System]]. The system is mandated and largely funded by the federal government, and also serves the interests of the states. By threatening to withhold [[United States Numbered Highways|federal highway]] funds, Congress has been able to pressure state legislatures to pass a variety of laws. Although some object that this infringes on states' rights, the Supreme Court upheld the practice as a permissible use of the Constitution's Spending Clause in ''[[South Dakota v. Dole]]'' {{ussc|483|203|1987}}.
 
  +
{{div col|colwidth=15em}}
  +
{{Plainlist|indent=1|
  +
* {{flag|Alabama}}
  +
* {{flag|Alaska}}
  +
* {{flag|Arizona}}
  +
* {{flag|Arkansas}}
  +
* {{flag|California}}
  +
* {{flag|Colorado}}
  +
* {{flag|Connecticut}}
  +
* {{flag|Delaware}}
  +
* {{flag|Florida}}
  +
* {{flag|Georgia (U.S. state)|name=Georgia}}
  +
* {{flag|Hawaii}}
  +
* {{flag|Idaho}}
  +
* {{flag|Illinois}}
  +
* {{flag|Indiana}}
  +
* {{flag|Iowa}}
  +
* {{flag|Kansas}}
  +
* {{flag|Kentucky}}
  +
* {{flag|Louisiana}}
  +
* {{flag|Maine}}
  +
* {{flag|Maryland}}
  +
* {{flag|Massachusetts}}
  +
* {{flag|Michigan}}
  +
* {{flag|Minnesota}}
  +
* {{flag|Mississippi}}
  +
* {{flag|Missouri}}
  +
* {{flag|Montana}}
  +
* {{flag|Nebraska}}
  +
* {{flag|Nevada}}
  +
* {{flag|New Hampshire}}
  +
* {{flag|New Jersey}}
  +
* {{flag|New Mexico}}
  +
* {{flag|New York}}
  +
* {{flag|North Carolina}}
  +
* {{flag|North Dakota}}
  +
* {{flag|Ohio}}
  +
* {{flag|Oklahoma}}
  +
* {{flag|Oregon}}
  +
* {{flag|Pennsylvania}}
  +
* {{flag|Rhode Island}}
  +
* {{flag|South Carolina}}
  +
* {{flag|South Dakota}}
  +
* {{flag|Tennessee}}
  +
* {{flag|Texas}}
  +
* {{flag|Utah}}
  +
* {{flag|Vermont}}
  +
* {{flag|Virginia}}
  +
* {{flag|Washington}}
  +
* {{flag|West Virginia}}
  +
* {{flag|Wisconsin}}
  +
* {{flag|Wyoming}}
  +
}}
  +
{{div col end}}
  +
<br />
  +
[[File:Map of USA with state names 2.svg|upright=2.5|frameless|center]]
  +
  +
{{clear}}
  +
  +
==Background==
  +
  +
The 13 original states came into existence in July 1776 during the [[American Revolutionary War]], as the successors of the [[Thirteen Colonies]], upon agreeing to the [[Lee Resolution]]<ref name=LeeReso>{{Cite web |url=https://declaration.fas.harvard.edu/blog/dd-lee-resolution |title=Delegate Discussions: The Lee Resolution(s) |website=The Declaration Resources Project |series=Course of Human Events |publisher=Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences |language=en |access-date=2019-09-11}}</ref> and signing the [[United States Declaration of Independence]].<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript |title=Declaration of Independence: A Transcription |date=2015-11-01 |website=National Archives |language=en |access-date=2019-09-11}}</ref> Prior to these events each [[State (polity)|state]] had been a [[Kingdom of Great Britain|British]] [[British America|colony]];<ref name=LeeReso/> each then joined the first [[Perpetual Union|Union of states]] between 1777 and 1781, upon ratifying the [[Articles of Confederation]], the first U.S. constitution.<ref name="Zimmerman">{{Cite book |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=hDQpHzSrI0QC |title=Interstate Cooperation, Second Edition: Compacts and Administrative Agreements |last=Zimmerman |first=Joseph F. |publisher=SUNY Press |year=2012 |isbn=9781438442365 |pages=4–7 |language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite book| last=Jensen| first=Merrill| title=The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of the Social-Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 1774–1781| year=1959| publisher=University of Wisconsin Press| isbn =978-0-299-00204-6| pages=xi, 184}}</ref> Also during this period, the newly independent states developed their own individual [[State constitution (United States)|state constitutions]], among the earliest written constitutions in the world.<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/white-pages/the-constitutional-convention-of-1787-a-revolution-in-government|title=The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Revolution in Government |last=Beeman |first=Richard R. |publisher=National Constitution Center |access-date=2019-09-11}}</ref> Although different in detail, these state constitutions shared features that would be important in the American constitutional order: they were [[Republicanism in the United States|republican]] in form, and separated power among three branches, most had bicameral legislatures, and contained statements of, or a bill of rights.<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://www.crf-usa.org/images/pdf/gates/First-States-Constitution.pdf|title=How the First State Constitutions helped build the Federal Constitution |publisher=Constitutional Rights Foundation | pages=10–12 |access-date=2019-09-21}}</ref> Later, from 1787 to 1790, each of the states also ratified a new federal frame of government in the [[Constitution of the United States]].<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/ratification.html |title=Observing Constitution Day |date=August 15, 2016 |website=National Archives |language=en |access-date=2019-09-11}}</ref> In relation to the states, the U.S. Constitution elaborated concepts of [[federalism in the United States|federalism]].<ref>{{Cite web |last1=Barnett |first1=Randy E. |last2=Gerken |first2=Heather |title=Article I, Section 8: Federalism and the overall scope of federal power |url=https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/article-i-section-8-federalism-and-the-overall-scope-of-federal-power/ |website=National Constitution Center}}</ref>
   
 
==Governments==
 
==Governments==
  +
{{main|State governments of the United States}}
States are free to organize their [[State governments of the United States|individual government]]s any way they like, so long as they conform to the sole requirement of the U.S. Constitution that they have "[[Guarantee Clause|a Republican Form of Government]]," that is, each state government must be a [[republic]].
 
  +
{{Further|Comparison of U.S. state governments}}
  +
{{Political divisions of the United States}}
   
  +
States are not mere administrative divisions of the United States, as their powers and responsibilities are not assigned to them from above by federal legislation or federal administrative action or the federal Constitution.{{citation needed|date=July 2020}} Consequently, each of the 50 states reserves the right to organize its individual government in any way (within the broad parameters set by the U.S. Constitution) deemed appropriate by its people, and to exercise all powers of government not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CONAN-1992/pdf/GPO-CONAN-1992-10-11.pdf|title=10th Amendment US Constitution--Reserved Powers|website=www.govinfo.gov|access-date=December 11, 2020}}</ref> A state, unlike the federal government, has un-enumerated [[Police power (United States constitutional law)|police power]], that is the right to generally make all necessary laws for the welfare of its people.<ref>{{Cite encyclopedia |year=2008 |title=Police Power |encyclopedia=West's Encyclopedia of American Law |publisher=Gale Group |url=https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Police+Power |access-date=September 10, 2019 |edition=2}}</ref> As a result, while the governments of the various states share many similar features, they often vary greatly with regard to form and substance. No two state governments are identical.
===Constitutions===
 
In practice, each state has adopted a three-branch [[form of government|system of government]] (with legislative, executive, and judiciary branches) generally along the same lines as that of the federal government — though this is not a requirement.
 
   
  +
===Constitutions===
Despite the fact that every state has chosen to follow the federal model of government, there are significant differences in some states.
 
  +
The government of each state is structured in accordance with its individual constitution. Many of these documents are more detailed and more elaborate than their federal counterpart. The [[Constitution of Alabama]], for example, contains 310,296 words – more than 40 times as many as the U.S. Constitution.<ref name=S&LG>{{Cite web| title=State & Local Government| url=https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/state-local-government/| website=whitehouse.gov| publisher=[[The White House]]| location=Washington, D.C.| access-date=October 30, 2018}}</ref> In practice, each state has adopted a three-branch frame of government: executive, legislative, and judicial (even though doing so has never been required).<ref name=S&LG/><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faq/faqtoc.aspx?subject=1|title=Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature|publisher=[[Minnesota State Legislature]]|access-date=January 12, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20131021082117/http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faq/faqtoc.aspx?subject=1|archive-date=October 21, 2013|url-status=live}}</ref>
   
  +
Early on in American history four state governments differentiated themselves from the others in their first constitutions by choosing to self-identify as [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|Commonwealth]]s rather than as [[state (polity)|states]]: [[Virginia]], in 1776;<ref name=Hornbook1994>{{cite book| url=http://www.lva.virginia.gov/faq/va.asp#six | editor1-last=Salmon| editor1-first=Emily J.| editor2-last=Campbell Jr.| editor2-first=Edward D. C.| title=The Hornbook of Virginia History| page=88| year=1994| edition=4th| publisher=Virginia Office of Graphic Communications| isbn=978-0-88490-177-8| location=Richmond, Virginia| access-date=March 10, 2016| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304104300/http://www.lva.virginia.gov/faq/va.asp#six| archive-date=March 4, 2016| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> [[Pennsylvania]], in 1777; [[Massachusetts]], in 1780; and [[Kentucky]], in 1792. Consequently, while these four are states like the other states, each is formally a commonwealth because the term is contained in its constitution.<ref>{{cite web| title=Why is Massachusetts a Commonwealth?| url= http://www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/legal-and-legislative-resources/why-is-massachusetts-a-commonwealth.html| website=Mass.Gov| publisher=Commonwealth of Massachusetts| date=2016| access-date=March 10, 2016| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160315111108/http://www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/legal-and-legislative-resources/why-is-massachusetts-a-commonwealth.html| archive-date=March 15, 2016| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> The term, ''commonwealth'', which refers to ''a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people'', was first used in [[Colony of Virginia|Virginia]] during the [[Interregnum (England)|Interregnum]], the 1649–60 period between the reigns of [[Charles I of England|Charles I]] and [[Charles II of England|Charles II]] during which parliament's [[Oliver Cromwell]] as [[Lord Protector]] established a [[Republicanism|republican]] government known as the [[Commonwealth of England]]. Virginia became a royal colony again in 1660, and the word was dropped from the full title; it went unused until reintroduced in 1776.<ref name=Hornbook1994/>
There are also significant similarities. For example, all 50 states allow tax exemptions for religious institutions.<ref>http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/334/lindquist.pdf</ref>
 
   
 
====Executive====
 
====Executive====
  +
{{Further|Governor (United States)}}
In all of the U.S. states, the chief executive is called the [[Governor (United States)|Governor]]. The governor may approve or [[veto]] bills passed by the state legislature. In forty-four states, governors have [[Line-item veto in the United States|line item veto]] power.
 
  +
In each state, the chief executive is called the governor, who serves as both [[head of state]] and [[head of government]]. All governors are chosen by [[direct election]]. The governor may approve or [[veto]] bills passed by the state legislature, as well as recommend and work for the passage of bills, usually supported by their political party. In 44 states, governors have [[Line-item veto in the United States|line item veto]] power.<ref name=NCSLveto>{{cite web| url=http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/separation-of-powers-executive-veto-powers.aspx| title=Separation of Powers--Executive Veto Powers| publisher=National Conference of State Legislatures| access-date=March 12, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180228001648/http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/separation-of-powers-executive-veto-powers.aspx| archive-date=February 28, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> Most states have a [[plural executive]], meaning that the governor is not the only government official in the state responsible for its [[executive (government)|executive branch]]. In these states, executive power is distributed amongst other officials,<ref>{{cite web| url=https://courses.lumenlearning.com/odessa-texasgovernment/chapter/plural-executive/| title=The Texas Plural Executive| work=Texas Government (Chapter 4)| last=Regalado| first=Daniel M.| publisher=Lumen Learning| access-date=March 12, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180314042633/https://courses.lumenlearning.com/odessa-texasgovernment/chapter/plural-executive/| archive-date=March 14, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> elected by the people independently of the governor—such as the [[Lieutenant governor (United States)|lieutenant governor]], [[State attorney general|attorney general]], [[comptroller#United States|comptroller]], [[Secretary of State (U.S. state government)|secretary of state]], and others.
   
  +
The constitutions of 19 states allow for citizens to remove and replace an elected public official before the end of their term of office through a [[recall election]].<ref name=NCSLrecall>{{cite web| title=Recall of State Officials| url=http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/recall-of-state-officials.aspx| publisher=National Conference of State Legislatures| access-date=March 12, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180331184159/http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/recall-of-state-officials.aspx| archive-date=March 31, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> Each state follows its own procedures for recall elections, and sets its own restrictions on how often, and how soon after a [[general election]], they may be held. In all states, the legislatures can remove state executive branch officials, including governors, who have committed serious abuses of their power from office. The process of doing so includes [[impeachment]] (the bringing of specific charges), and a trial, in which legislators act as a jury.<ref name=NCSLrecall/>
Most states have a "plural executive" in which two or more members of the [[executive (government)|executive branch]] are elected directly by the people. Such additional elected officials serve as members of the executive branch, but are not beholden to the governor and the governor cannot dismiss them. For example, the [[State attorney general|attorney general]] is elected, rather than appointed, in 43 of the 50 U.S. states.
 
   
 
====Legislative====
 
====Legislative====
{{see also|State legislature (United States)}}
+
{{Further|State legislature (United States)}}
  +
The primary responsibilities of state legislatures are to enact state laws and appropriate money for the administration of public policy.<ref name=NCSLveto/> In all states, if the governor vetoes a bill (or a portion of one), it can still become law if the legislature overrides the veto (repasses the bill), which in most states requires a [[Supermajority#Two-thirds vote|two-thirds vote]] in each chamber.<ref name=NCSLveto/> In 49 of the 50 states the legislature consists of two chambers: a lower house (variously called the House of Representatives, State Assembly, General Assembly or House of Delegates) and a smaller upper house, in all states called the Senate. The exception is the [[unicameral]] [[Nebraska Legislature]], which has only a single chamber.<ref>{{cite web| title=History of the Nebraska Unicameral: The Birth of a Unicameral| url=https://nebraskalegislature.gov/about/history_unicameral.php| publisher=Nebraska Legislature| location=Lincoln, Nebraska| access-date=March 12, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180304185859/https://nebraskalegislature.gov/about/history_unicameral.php| archive-date=March 4, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref> Most states have a [[Part-time job|part-time]] legislature (traditionally called a [[citizen legislature]]). Ten state legislatures are considered [[Full-time job|full-time]]; these bodies are more similar to the U.S. Congress than are the others.<ref name=NCSLftpt>{{cite web| title=Full- and Part-time Legislatures| url=http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/full-and-part-time-legislatures.aspx| publisher=National Conference of State Legislatures| access-date=March 12, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180307002645/http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/full-and-part-time-legislatures.aspx| archive-date=March 7, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref>
The legislatures of 49 of the 50 states are made up of two chambers: a lower house (termed the House of Representatives, State Assembly or House of Delegates) and a smaller upper house, always termed the Senate. The exception is the [[unicameral]] [[Nebraska Legislature]], which is composed of only a single chamber.
 
   
  +
Members of each state's legislature are chosen by direct election. In ''[[Baker v. Carr]]'' (1962) and ''[[Reynolds v. Sims]]'' (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court held that all states are required to elect their legislatures in such a way as to afford each citizen the same degree of representation (the [[one person, one vote]] standard). In practice, most states elect legislators from [[single-member district]]s, each of which has approximately the same population. Some states, such as Maryland and Vermont, divide the state into single- and multi-member districts, in which case multi-member districts must have proportionately larger populations, e.g., a district electing two representatives must have approximately twice the population of a district electing just one. The [[Electoral system|voting systems]] used across the nation are: [[first-past-the-post]] in single-member districts, and [[multiple non-transferable vote]] in multi-member districts.
Most states have [[Part time|part-time]] legislatures, while six of the most populated states have [[Full time|full-time]] legislatures. However, several states with high population have short legislative sessions, including Texas and Florida.<ref>http://www.reformcal.com/citleg_historical.pdf</ref>
 
   
  +
In 2013, there were a total of 7,383 legislators in the 50 state legislative bodies. They earned from $0 annually (New Mexico) to $90,526 (California). There were various per diem and mileage compensation.<ref>{{Cite news | first=Reid | last=Wilson | title=GovBeat:For legislators, salaries start at zero | url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/08/23/how-much-are-your-legislators-paid/ | newspaper=Washington Post | location=Washington, DC | pages=A2 | date=August 23, 2013 | access-date=August 26, 2013 | archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130825171248/http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/08/23/how-much-are-your-legislators-paid/ | archive-date=August 25, 2013 | url-status=live | df=mdy-all }}</ref>
In ''[[Baker v. Carr]]'' (1962) and ''[[Reynolds v. Sims]]'' (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court held that all states are required to elect their legislatures in such a way as to afford each citizen the same degree of representation (the [[one person, one vote]] standard). In practice, most states choose to elect legislators from single-member districts, each of which has approximately the same population. Some states, such as Maryland and Vermont, divide the state into single- and multi-member districts, in which case multi-member districts must have proportionately larger populations, e.g., a district electing two representatives must have approximately twice the population of a district electing just one.
 
 
If the governor vetoes legislation, all legislatures may override it, usually, but not always, requiring a two-thirds majority.
 
   
 
====Judicial====
 
====Judicial====
{{see also|State court (United States)|state supreme court}}
+
{{Further|State court (United States)}}
States can also organize their judicial systems differently from the [[United States federal courts|federal judiciary]], as long as they protect the federal constitutional right of their citizens to procedural [[due process]]. Most have a trial level court, generally called a [[District court|District Court]] or [[Superior court|Superior Court]], a first-level [[Court of Appeals|appellate court]], generally called a Court of Appeal (or Appeals), and a Supreme Court. However, Oklahoma and Texas have separate highest courts for criminal appeals. New York state has its own terminology, in that the trial court is called the Supreme Court. Appeals are then taken to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and from there to the Court of Appeals.
+
States can also organize their judicial systems differently from the [[United States federal courts|federal judiciary]], as long as they protect the federal constitutional right of their citizens to procedural [[due process]]. Most have a trial level court, generally called a [[District court|District Court]], [[Superior court|Superior Court]] or [[Circuit Court]], a first-level [[Court of Appeals|appellate court]], generally called a Court of Appeal (or Appeals), and a [[State supreme court|Supreme Court]]. However, Oklahoma and Texas have separate highest courts for criminal appeals. In New York State the trial court is called the Supreme Court; appeals are then taken to the Supreme Court's Appellate Division, and from there to the Court of Appeals.
  +
  +
State court systems provide general courts with broad jurisdiction. The overwhelming majority of criminal and civil cases in the United States are heard in state courts. The annual number of cases filed in state courts is around 30,000,000 and the number of judges in state courts is about 30,000—by comparison, federal courts see some 1,000,000 filed cases with about 1700 judges.<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/federal-vs-state-courts-key-differences.html |title=Federal vs. State Courts - Key Differences - FindLaw |website=Findlaw |language=en-US |access-date=May 14, 2018 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180514215512/https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/federal-vs-state-courts-key-differences.html |archive-date=May 14, 2018 |url-status=live}}</ref>
   
 
Most states base their legal system on English [[common law]] (with substantial indigenous changes and incorporation of certain civil law innovations), with the notable exception of Louisiana, a former [[Louisiana (New France)|French colony]], which draws large parts of its legal system from French [[Civil law (legal system)|civil law]].
 
Most states base their legal system on English [[common law]] (with substantial indigenous changes and incorporation of certain civil law innovations), with the notable exception of Louisiana, a former [[Louisiana (New France)|French colony]], which draws large parts of its legal system from French [[Civil law (legal system)|civil law]].
   
Only a few states choose to have the judges on the state's courts serve for life terms. In most of the states the judges, including the justices of the highest court in the state, are either elected or appointed for terms of a limited number of years, such as five years, eligible for re-election or reappointment if their performance is judged to be satisfactory.
+
Only a few states choose to have the judges on the state's courts serve for life terms. In most of the states the judges, including the justices of the highest court in the state, are either elected or appointed for terms of a limited number of years, and are usually eligible for re-election or reappointment.
  +
  +
===States as unitary systems===
  +
  +
All states are [[unitary government]]s, not federations or aggregates of [[Local government in the United States|local governments]]. Local governments within them are created by and exist by virtue of state law, and local governments within each state are subject to the central authority of that particular state. State governments commonly delegate some authority to local units and channel policy decisions down to them for implementation.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.britannica.com/topic/unitary-system|title=Unitary system|publisher=Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.|access-date=August 13, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20161009084356/https://www.britannica.com/topic/unitary-system|archive-date=October 9, 2016|url-status=live}}</ref> In a few states, local units of government are permitted a degree of [[home rule]] over various matters. The prevailing legal theory of state preeminence over local governments, referred to as [[John Forrest Dillon#Dillon's Rule|Dillon's Rule]], holds that,
  +
{{Quote| A municipal corporation possesses and can exercise the following powers and no others: First, those granted in express words; second, those necessarily implied or necessarily incident to the powers expressly granted; third, those absolutely essential to the declared objects and purposes of the corporation—not simply convenient but indispensable; fourth, any fair doubt as to the existence of a power is resolved by the courts against the corporation—against the existence of the powers.<ref>{{cite journal|last1=Dean|first1=Kenneth d.|title=The Dillon Rule -- A limit on Local Government Powers|journal=Missouri Law Review|date=1976|volume=41|issue=4|page=548|url=http://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2323&context=mlr|access-date=August 13, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20161009115655/http://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2323&context=mlr|archive-date=October 9, 2016|url-status=live|df=mdy-all}}</ref>}}
  +
  +
Each state defines for itself what powers it will allow local governments. Generally, four categories of power may be given to local jurisdictions:
  +
{{Quote|
  +
* Structural – power to choose the form of government, charter and enact charter revisions,
  +
* Functional – power to exercise local self government in a broad or limited manner,
  +
* Fiscal – authority to determine revenue sources, set tax rates, borrow funds and other related financial activities,
  +
* Personnel – authority to set employment rules, remuneration rates, employment conditions and collective bargaining.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101/city-powers/local-government-authority|title=Local Government Authority|publisher=[[National League of Cities]]|access-date=August 13, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160804131854/http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101/city-powers/local-government-authority|archive-date=August 4, 2016|url-status=dead|df=mdy-all}}</ref>}}
   
 
==Relationships==
 
==Relationships==
Under [[Article Four of the United States Constitution]], which outlines the relationship between the states, the [[United States Congress]] has the power to admit new states to the Union. The states are required to give [[Full Faith and Credit Clause|full faith and credit]] to the acts of each other's legislatures and courts, which is generally held to include the recognition of legal contracts, marriages, and criminal judgments, and before 1865, slavery status. States are prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other states with respect to their [[human rights|basic rights]], under the [[Privileges and Immunities Clause]]. The states are guaranteed [[military]] and [[civil defense]] by the federal government, which is also required to ensure that the government of each state remains a [[republic]].
 
   
  +
===Among states===
Four states use the official name of [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|''Commonwealth'']], rather than ''State''.<ref>a. Third Constitution of Kentucky (1850), Article 2, Section 1 ''ff.'' Other portions of the same Constitution refer to the "State of Kentucky"<br />b. Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Preamble.<br />c. Constitution of Pennsylvania, Preamble.<br />d. Constitution of Virginia (1971), Article IV, Section 1.</ref> However, this is merely a paper distinction, and the U.S. Constitution ''uniformly'' refers to all of these [[administrative division|subnational jurisdiction]]s as "States" ([[Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_1:_Composition_and_election_of_Members|Article One, Section 2, Clause 1]] of the Constitution, concerning the [[U.S. House of Representatives]], in which Representatives are to be elected by the people of the "States"; [[Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Section_3:_Senate|Article One, Section 3, Clause 1]], concerning the [[U.S. Senate]], allocates to each "State" two Senators). For all of these purposes, each of the four above-mentioned "Commonwealths" counts as a State.
 
  +
Each state admitted to the Union by Congress since 1789 has entered it on an [[equal footing]] with the original states in all respects.<ref name=4.3.1>{{cite web|last1=Forte|first1=David F.|title=Essays on Article IV: New States Clause|url=http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/4/essays/125/new-states-clause|work=The Heritage Guide to the Constitution|publisher=The Heritage Foundation|access-date=January 12, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170724095029/http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/4/essays/125/new-states-clause|archive-date=July 24, 2017|url-status=live}}</ref> With the growth of [[states' rights]] advocacy during the [[antebellum period]], the Supreme Court asserted, in ''Lessee of Pollard v. Hagan'' (1845), that the Constitution mandated admission of new states on the basis of equality.<ref name=EoS>{{cite web|title=Doctrine of the Equality of States|url=http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/22-doctrine-of-equality-of-states.html|website=Justia.com|access-date=January 30, 2012|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20121019004026/http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/22-doctrine-of-equality-of-states.html|archive-date=October 19, 2012|url-status=live}}</ref> With the consent of Congress, states may enter into [[interstate compact]]s, agreements between two or more states. Compacts are frequently used to manage a shared resource, such as transportation infrastructure or water rights.<ref>{{cite web|last=deGolian|first=Crady|title=Interstate Compacts: Background and History|url=http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/drupal/content/interstate-compacts-background-and-history|publisher=Council on State Governments|access-date=September 25, 2013|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130927110440/http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/drupal/content/interstate-compacts-background-and-history|archive-date=September 27, 2013|url-status=live}}</ref>
   
  +
Under [[Article Four of the United States Constitution|Article IV of the Constitution]], which outlines the relationship between the states, each state is required to give [[Full Faith and Credit Clause|full faith and credit]] to the acts of each other's legislatures and courts, which is generally held to include the recognition of most contracts and criminal judgments, and before 1865, slavery status. Under the [[Extradition Clause]], a state must [[extradition|extradite]] people located there who have fled charges of "treason, felony, or other crimes" in another state if the other state so demands. The principle of [[hot pursuit]] of a presumed felon and arrest by the law officers of one state in another state are often permitted by a state.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/hot-pursuit|title=Hot Pursuit Law & Legal Definition|publisher=USLegal, Inc.|access-date=October 8, 2014|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141009153622/http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/hot-pursuit/|archive-date=October 9, 2014|url-status=live}}</ref>
==Admission into the union==
 
   
  +
The full faith and credit expectation does have exceptions, some legal arrangements, such as professional licensure and marriages, may be state-specific, and until recently states have not been found by the courts to be required to honor such arrangements from other states.<ref name="interracial">{{cite news |work=[[The New York Times]] |url=https://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/17/us/bans-on-interracial-unions-offer-perspective-on-gay-ones.html?pagewanted=1 |title=Bans on Interracial Unions Offer Perspective on Gay Ones |author=Adam Liptak |date=March 17, 2004 |access-date=February 20, 2017 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170525063730/http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/17/us/bans-on-interracial-unions-offer-perspective-on-gay-ones.html?pagewanted=1 |archive-date=May 25, 2017 |url-status=live}}</ref> Such legal acts are nevertheless often recognized state-to-state according to the common practice of [[comity]]. States are prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other states with respect to their [[human rights|basic rights]], under the [[Privileges and Immunities Clause]].
[[File:US states by date of statehood RWB dates.svg|thumb|220px|U.S. states by [[List of U.S. states by date of statehood|date of statehood]]
 
   
  +
===With the federal government===
{{legend|#FF0000|1776–1790}}{{legend|#FF6666|1791–1799}}{{legend|#FF9999|1800–1819}}{{legend|#FFCCCC|1820–1839}}{{legend|#CCCCCC|1840–1859}}{{legend|#CCCCFF|1860–1879}}{{legend|#9999FF|1880–1899}}{{legend|#6666FF|1900–1950}}{{legend|#0000FF|1959}}]]
 
  +
{{Further| Federalism in the United States}}
[[File:US states by date of statehood3.gif|thumb|220px|The order in which the original 13 states ratified the constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the union. (Click to see animation)]]
 
  +
Under Article IV, each state is guaranteed a form of government that is grounded in republican principles, such as the [[consent of the governed]].<ref>{{cite book|author1=Ernest B. Abbott|author2=Otto J. Hetzel|title=Homeland Security and Emergency Management: A Legal Guide for State and Local Governments|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=crI0pYe2vmMC&pg=PA52|year=2010|publisher=American Bar Association|page=52|isbn=9781604428179}}</ref> This guarantee has long been at the fore-front of the debate about the rights of citizens vis-à-vis the government. States are also guaranteed protection from invasion, and, upon the application of the state legislature (or executive, if the legislature cannot be convened), from domestic violence. This provision was discussed during the [[1967 Detroit riot]], but was not invoked.
   
  +
The [[Supremacy Clause]] ([[Article Six of the United States Constitution#Supremacy|Article VI, Clause 2]]) establishes that the [[United States Constitution|Constitution]], [[Law of the United States|federal laws]] made pursuant to it, and [[Treaty|treaties]] made under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/supremacy_clause|title=Supremacy Clause|author=[[Cornell University Law School]]|publisher=law.cornell.edu|access-date=February 21, 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180201142625/https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/supremacy_clause|archive-date=February 1, 2018|url-status=live}}</ref> It provides that [[State court (United States)|state courts]] are bound by the supreme law; in case of conflict between federal and state law, the federal law must be applied. Even [[State constitution (United States)|state constitutions]] are subordinate to federal law.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Burnham|first1=William|title=Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, 4th ed.|date=2006|publisher=Thomson West|location=St. Paul|page=41}}</ref>
Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from [[Thirteen Colonies|the original 13]] to 50. The [[U.S. Constitution]] is rather laconic on the process by which new states could be added, noting only that "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union" and forbidding a new state to be created out of the territory of an existing state, or the merging of two or more states into one, without the consent of both Congress and all the state legislatures involved.
 
   
  +
[[States' rights]] are understood mainly with reference to the [[Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution|Tenth Amendment]]. The Constitution delegates some powers to the national government, and it forbids some powers to the states. The Tenth Amendment reserves all other powers to the states, or to the people. Powers of the [[U.S. Congress]] are [[Enumerated powers|enumerated]] in [[Article One of the United States Constitution#Section 8: Powers of Congress|Article I, Section 8]], for example, the power to declare war. Making treaties is one power forbidden to the states, being listed among other such powers in [[Article One of the United States Constitution#Section 10: Limits on the States|Article I, Section 10]].
In practice, most of the states admitted to the union after the original 13 have been formed from [[Territories of the United States]] (that is, land under the sovereignty of the federal government but not part of any state) that were [[organized territory|organized]] (given a measure of [[self-governance|self-rule]] by the Congress subject to the Congress’ plenary powers under the [[territorial clause]] of Article IV, sec. 3, of the U.S. Constitution).<ref>U.S. Const. art. IV, § 3, cl. 2 ("The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States...").</ref>
 
   
  +
Among the Article I enumerated powers of Congress is the power to regulate Commerce. Since the early 20th century, the Supreme Court's interpretation of this "[[Commerce Clause]]" has, over time, greatly expanded scope of [[federal power]], at the expense of powers formerly considered purely states' matters. The ''Cambridge Economic History of the United States'' says, "On the whole, especially after the mid-1880s, the Court construed the Commerce Clause in favor of increased federal power."<ref>{{cite book|author=Stanley Lewis Engerman|title=The Cambridge economic history of the United States: the colonial era|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=6sDXBGMbrWkC|year=2000|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=978-0-521-55307-0|page=[https://books.google.com/books?id=6sDXBGMbrWkC&pg=PA464 464]}}</ref> In 1941, the Supreme Court in ''[[United States v. Darby Lumber Co.|U.S. v. Darby]]'' upheld the [[Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938]], holding that Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate employment conditions.<ref>{{cite web| title=United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941)| url=https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/312/100/| website=justia.com| publisher=Justia| location=Mountain View, California| access-date=October 30, 2018}}</ref> Then, one year later, in ''[[Wickard v. Filburn]]'', the Court expanded federal power to regulate the economy by holding that federal authority under the commerce clause extends to activities which may appear to be local in nature but in reality effect the entire national economy and are therefore of national concern.<ref>{{cite book|author=David Shultz|title=Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=I_f6Oo9H3YsC|year=2005|publisher=Infobase Publishing|isbn=978-0-8160-5086-4|page=[https://books.google.com/books?id=I_f6Oo9H3YsC&pg=PA522 522]}}</ref> For example, Congress can regulate railway traffic across state lines, but it may also regulate rail traffic solely within a state, based on the reality that intrastate traffic still affects interstate commerce. Through such decisions, argues law professor David F. Forte, "the Court turned the commerce power into the equivalent of a general regulatory power and undid the Framers' original structure of limited and delegated powers." Subsequently, Congress invoked the Commerce Clause to expand federal criminal legislation, as well as for social reforms such as the [[Civil Rights Act of 1964]]. Only within the past couple of decades, through decisions in cases such as those in ''[[United States v. Lopez|U.S. v. Lopez]]'' (1995) and ''[[United States v. Morrison|U.S. v. Morrison]]'' (2000), has the Court tried to limit the Commerce Clause power of Congress.<ref name=A1Essays>{{cite web| last=Forte| first=David F.| title=Essays on Article I: Commerce among the States| work=Heritage Guide to the Constitution| url=https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/1/essays/38/commerce-among-the-states| publisher=Heritage Foundation| access-date=October 30, 2018}}</ref>
Generally speaking, the organized government of a territory made known the sentiment of its population in favor of statehood. Congress then directed that government to organize a [[constitutional convention (political meeting)|constitutional convention]] to write a state constitution. Upon acceptance of that Constitution, Congress has always admitted that territory as a state. The broad outlines in this process were established by the [[Northwest Ordinance]] (1787), which predated the ratification of the Constitution.
 
   
  +
Another enumerated congressional power is its [[Taxing and Spending Clause|taxing and spending power]].<ref name=USC-ART1SEC8>{{cite web |title= Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8 |website= Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School |url= https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei#section8 |access-date= October 17, 2015 |archive-url= https://web.archive.org/web/20151019055147/https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei#section8 |archive-date= October 19, 2015 |url-status=live |df= mdy-all }}</ref> An example of this is the system of federal aid for highways, which include the [[Interstate Highway System]]. The system is mandated and largely funded by the federal government, and also serves the interests of the states. By threatening to withhold [[United States Numbered Highways|federal highway]] funds, Congress has been able to pressure state legislatures to pass a variety of laws.{{Citation needed|date=October 2015}} An example is the nationwide legal drinking age of 21, enacted by each state, brought about by the [[National Minimum Drinking Age Act]]. Although some objected that this infringes on states' rights, the Supreme Court upheld the practice as a permissible use of the Constitution's Spending Clause in ''[[South Dakota v. Dole]]'' {{ussc|483|203|1987}}.
However, Congress has ultimate authority over the admission of new states, and is not bound to follow this procedure. A few U.S. states (outside of the original 13) that were never organized territories of the federal government have been admitted:
 
* '''[[Vermont]]''', an unrecognized but de facto [[Vermont Republic|independent republic]] until its admission in 1791<ref name=StatesShapes />
 
* '''[[Kentucky]]''', a part of Virginia until its admission in 1792<ref name=StatesShapes />
 
* '''[[Maine]]''', a part of Massachusetts until its admission in 1820<ref name=StatesShapes /> following the [[Missouri Compromise]]
 
* '''[[Texas]]''', a recognized [[Republic of Texas|independent republic]] until its admission in 1845<ref name=StatesShapes />
 
* '''[[California]]''', created as a state (as part of the [[Compromise of 1850]]) out of the [[unorganized territory]] of the [[Mexican Cession]] in 1850 without ever having been a separate organized territory itself<ref name=StatesShapes />
 
* '''[[West Virginia]]''', created from areas of western Virginia that rejoined the union in 1863, after the 1861 secession of Virginia to the [[Confederate States of America]] during the [[American Civil War]]<ref name=StatesShapes />
 
   
  +
As prescribed by Article I of the Constitution, which establishes the U.S. Congress, each state is represented in the Senate (irrespective of population size) by two senators, and each is guaranteed at least one representative in the House. Both senators and representatives are chosen in [[Direct election|direct popular elections]] in the various states. (Prior to 1913, senators were elected by state legislatures.) There are presently 100 senators, who are elected [[at-large]] to [[Classes of United States Senators|staggered terms]] of six years, with one-third of them being chosen every two years. Representatives are elected at-large or from [[single-member district]]s to terms of two years (not staggered). The size of the House—presently 435 voting members—is set by [[Act of Congress|federal statute]]. Seats in the House are [[United States congressional apportionment|distributed]] among the states in proportion to the most recent constitutionally mandated decennial [[United States Census|census]].<ref>{{cite web |author=Kristin D. Burnett |url=https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-08.pdf |title=Congressional Apportionment (2010 Census Briefs C2010BR-08) |publisher=U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration |access-date=December 11, 2017 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20111119155913/http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-08.pdf |archive-date=November 19, 2011 |url-status=live}}</ref> The borders of these districts are established by the states individually through a process called [[redistricting]], and within each state all districts are required to have approximately equal populations.<ref>{{Cite web |url=http://redistricting.lls.edu/who.php |title=Who draws the lines |work=All About Redistricting |last=Levitt |first=Justin |publisher=University of Loyola Law School |location=Los Angeles, California |access-date=June 17, 2018 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180617165953/http://redistricting.lls.edu/who.php |archive-date=June 17, 2018 |url-status=live}}</ref>
Congress is also under no obligation to admit states even in those areas whose population expresses a desire for statehood. For instance, the Republic of Texas requested annexation to the United States in 1837, but fears about the conflict with Mexico that would result delayed admission for nine years.<ref>{{cite book|author=Richard Bruce Winders|title=Crisis in the Southwest: the United States, Mexico, and the struggle over Texas|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC|year=2002|publisher=Rowman & Littlefield|isbn=978-0-8420-2801-1|pages=[http://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC&pg=PA82 82], [http://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC&pg=PA92 92]}}</ref>
 
   
  +
Citizens in each state plus those in the [[District of Columbia]] [[indirect election|indirectly elect]] the [[President of the United States|president]] and [[Vice President of the United States|vice president]]. When casting [[ballot]]s in [[United States presidential election|presidential elections]] they are voting for [[Electoral College (United States)|presidential electors]], who then, using procedures provided in the [[Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution|12th amendment]], elect the president and vice president.<ref>{{cite web| last=Fried| first=Charles| title=Essays on Amendment XII: Electoral College| work=Heritage Guide to the Constitution| url=https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/12/essays/165/electoral-college| publisher=Heritage Foundation| access-date=October 30, 2018}}</ref> There were 538 electors for the most recent presidential election in [[2020 United States presidential election|2020]]; the allocation of electoral votes was based on the [[2010 United States Census|2010 census]].<ref>{{cite web| title=The 2016 Presidential Election: Provisions of the Constitution and United States Code| date=February 2018| page=6| url=https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/resources/2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf|publisher=Office of the Federal Register, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration|location=Washington, D.C.|access-date=October 30, 2018}}</ref> Each state is entitled to a number of electors equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state; the District of Columbia is entitled to three electors.<ref>{{cite web| last1=Whitaker| first1=L. Paige| last2=Neale| first2=Thomas H.| title=The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals| url=https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5853/m1/1/high_res_d/RL30804_2004Nov05.pdf| date=November 5, 2004| orig-year=January 16, 2001| publisher=Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress| location=Washington, D.C.| access-date=October 30, 2018| via=[[University of North Texas Libraries|UNT Libraries]] Government Documents Department; UNT Digital Library}}</ref>
Once established, most state borders have been generally stable, with exceptions including the formation of the [[Northwest Territory]] in 1787 and the [[Southwest Territory]] in 1790 from various portions of the original states, the cession by Maryland and Virginia of land to create the [[District of Columbia]] in 1791 (Virginia's portion was [[District of Columbia retrocession|returned]] in 1847), and the creation of states from other states, including the creation of Kentucky and West Virginia from Virginia, and Maine from Massachusetts. However, there have been numerous minor adjustments to state boundaries over the years due to improved surveys, resolution of ambiguous or disputed boundary definitions, or minor mutually agreed boundary adjustments for administrative convenience or other purposes.<ref name=StatesShapes>{{cite book|last=Stein|first=Mark|title=How the States Got Their Shapes|year=2008|publisher=Collins (HarperCollinsPublishers) [Smithsonian Books]|location=New York|isbn=978006143195 {{Please check ISBN|reason=Invalid length.}}|pages=xvi + 334}}</ref>
 
   
  +
While the Constitution does set parameters for the election of federal officials, state law, not federal, regulates most aspects of elections in the U.S., including: primaries, the eligibility of voters (beyond the basic constitutional definition), the running of each state's electoral college, as well as the running of state and local elections. All elections—federal, state and local—are administered by the individual states, and some voting rules and procedures may differ among them.<ref>{{cite web| title=Elections & Voting| url=https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/elections-voting/| website=whitehouse.gov| publisher=[[The White House]]| location=Washington, D.C.| access-date=October 30, 2018}}</ref>
===Possible new states===
 
{{See also|51st state|Politics of Puerto Rico|Political status of Puerto Rico|District of Columbia voting rights}}
 
Today, there are several U.S. territories left that might potentially become new states.
 
   
  +
[[Article Five of the United States Constitution|Article V of the Constitution]] accords states a key role in the process of amending the U.S. Constitution. Amendments may be proposed either by Congress with a [[supermajority|two-thirds vote]] in both the House and the Senate, or by a [[Convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution|constitutional convention]] called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures.<ref>{{cite web |title=The Constitutional Amendment Process |url=https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/ |publisher=The U.S. [[National Archives and Records Administration]] |access-date=November 17, 2015 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20151121061058/http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/ |archive-date=November 21, 2015 |url-status=live }}</ref> To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either—as determined by Congress—the legislatures of three-quarters of the states or [[state ratifying conventions]] in three-quarters of the states.<ref>{{cite news |last=Wines |first=Michael |date=August 22, 2016 |title=Inside the Conservative Push for States to Amend the Constitution |url=https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/23/us/inside-the-conservative-push-for-states-to-amend-the-constitution.html |newspaper=NYT |access-date=August 24, 2016 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160823202657/http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/23/us/inside-the-conservative-push-for-states-to-amend-the-constitution.html |archive-date=August 23, 2016 |url-status=live}}</ref> The vote in each state (to either ratify or reject a proposed amendment) carries equal weight, regardless of a state's population or length of time in the Union.
====Puerto Rico====
 
The most likely candidate for statehood is generally thought to be [[Puerto Rico]]. Puerto Rico called itself the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" in the English version of its constitution, and as "Estado Libre Asociado" (literally, Associated Free State) in the Spanish version. The island’s ultimate status has not been determined as of 2011. A [[plebiscite]] will be held on November 6, 2012 to determine the future of the Island.
 
   
  +
==Admission into the Union==
As with any non-state territory of the United States, its residents do not have voting representation in the federal government. Puerto Rico has limited representation in the [[U.S. Congress]] in the form of a [[Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico|Resident Commissioner]], a nonvoting delegate.<ref name="rhg">{{cite web|url=http://www.rules.house.gov/ruleprec/110th.pdf |title=Rules of the House of Representatives|format=PDF |date= |accessdate=2010-07-25}}</ref>
 
  +
{{main|Admission to the Union}}
  +
[[File:US states by date of statehood RWB dates.svg|thumb|upright=1.20|U.S. states by [[List of U.S. states by date of admission to the Union|date of statehood]]:<br>{{legend inline|#FF0000|1776–1790}}{{spaces|2|fig}}{{legend inline|#FF6666|1791–1796}}<br>{{legend inline|#FF9999|1803–1819}}{{spaces|2|fig}}{{legend inline|#FFCCCC|1820–1837}}<br>{{legend inline|#CCCCCC|1845–1859}}{{spaces|2|fig}}{{legend inline|#CCCCFF|1861–1876}}<br>{{legend inline|#9999FF|1889–1896}}{{spaces|2|fig}}{{legend inline|#6666FF|1907–1912}}<br>{{legend inline|#0000FF|1959}}]]
  +
[[File:US states by date of statehood3.gif|thumb|upright=1.20|The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union]]
   
  +
Article IV also grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from [[Thirteen Colonies|the original 13]] to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing states.<ref name=EoS/> Article IV also forbids the creation of new states from parts of existing states without the consent of both the affected states and Congress. This caveat was designed to give Eastern states that still had [[State cessions|Western land claims]] (including Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia), to have a [[veto]] over whether their western counties could become states,<ref name=4.3.1/> and has served this same function since, whenever a [[List of U.S. state partition proposals|proposal to partition]] an existing state or states in order that a region within might either join another state or to create a new state has come before Congress.
=====History=====
 
Puerto Rico has been under U.S. sovereignty for over a century. Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917.
 
   
  +
Most of the states admitted to the Union after the original 13 were formed from an [[organized incorporated territories of the United States|organized territory]] established and governed by Congress in accord with its [[plenary power]] under Article IV, Section 3, [[Article Four of the United States Constitution#Clause 2: Property Clause|Clause 2]].<ref>{{cite web|title=Property and Territory: Powers of Congress|url=http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/25-methods-of-disposing-property.html|website=Justia.com|access-date=April 8, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170525020637/http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/25-methods-of-disposing-property.html|archive-date=May 25, 2017|url-status=live}}</ref> The outline for this process was established by the [[Northwest Ordinance]] (1787), which predates the ratification of the Constitution. In some cases, an entire territory has become a state; in others some part of a territory has.
The U.S. Congress directed the Puerto Rican government to organize a [[constitutional convention (political meeting)|constitutional convention]] to write the [[Puerto Rico Constitution]] in 1951. Like the U.S. States, Puerto Rico has a republican form of government organized pursuant to a constitution adopted by its people and a bill of rights. The Approval of that constitution by Puerto Rico's electorate, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. President occurred in 1952. The rights, privileges and immunities attendant to the United States Citizens are "respected in Puerto Rico to the same extent as though Puerto Rico were a state of the union" through the express extension by the U.S. Congress in 1948 of the [[Privileges and Immunities Clause]] of the U.S. Constitution.<ref>{{usc|48|737}}, Privileges and immunities.</ref>
 
   
  +
When the people of a territory make their desire for statehood known to the federal government, Congress may pass an [[enabling act]] authorizing the people of that territory to organize a [[constitutional convention (political meeting)|constitutional convention]] to write a state constitution as a step towards admission to the Union. Each act details the mechanism by which the territory will be admitted as a state following ratification of their constitution and election of state officers. Although the use of an enabling act is a traditional historic practice, a number of territories have drafted constitutions for submission to Congress absent an enabling act and were subsequently admitted. Upon acceptance of that constitution, and upon meeting any additional Congressional stipulations, Congress has always admitted that territory as a state.
President [[George H. W. Bush]] issued a memorandum on November 30, 1992 to heads of executive departments and agencies establishing the current administrative relationship between the [[Federal government of the United States|federal government]] and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This memorandum directs all federal departments, agencies, and officials to treat Puerto Rico administratively as if it were a state, insofar as doing so would not disrupt federal programs or operations.<ref>{{cite web
 
|url=http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL32933_20090804.pdf
 
|title=Political Status of Puerto Rico: Options for Congress
 
|publisher=Congressional Research Service
 
|accessdate=2009-12-19}}
 
</ref>
 
   
  +
In addition to the original 13, six subsequent states were never an organized territory of the federal government, or part of one, before being admitted to the Union. Three were set off from an already existing state, two entered the Union after having been [[sovereign state]]s, and one was established from [[unorganized territory]]:
The commonwealth's government has organized several [[referendum|referenda]] on the question of status over the past several decades, though Congress has not recognized these as binding; all shown resulted in narrow victories for the [[status quo]] over statehood. On December 23, 2000, President [[Bill Clinton]] signed executive Order 13183, which established the [[President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status]] and the rules for its membership. Section 4 of executive Order 13183 (as amended by executive Order 13319) directs the task force to "report on its actions to the President ... on progress made in the determination of Puerto Rico’s ultimate status."<ref name="usdoj.gov">{{cite web|url=http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/documents/2007-report-by-the-president-task-force-on-puerto-rico-status.pdf |title='&#39;Report By the President's Task Force On Puerto Rico's Status (December 2007)'&#39; |format=PDF |date= |accessdate=2010-07-25}}</ref>
 
  +
* California, 1850, from land [[Mexican Cession|ceded]] to the United States by [[Mexico]] in 1848 under the terms of the [[Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo]].<ref name=StatesShapes /><ref name=GP/><ref>{{cite web|title=California Admission Day September 9, 1850|url=http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23856|website=CA.gov|publisher=California Department of Parks and Recreation|access-date=April 8, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160328225158/http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23856|archive-date=March 28, 2016|url-status=live}}</ref>
  +
* Kentucky, 1792, from Virginia (District of Kentucky: [[Fayette County, Kentucky|Fayette]], [[Jefferson County, Kentucky|Jefferson]], and [[Lincoln County, Kentucky|Lincoln]] counties)<ref name=StatesShapes /><ref name=GP>{{cite web|title=Official Name and Status History of the several States and U.S. Territories|url=http://www.thegreenpapers.com/slg/statehood.phtml|website=TheGreenPapers.com|access-date=April 8, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20090814204615/http://www.thegreenpapers.com/slg/statehood.phtml|archive-date=August 14, 2009|url-status=live}}</ref><ref name=LPQ>{{cite journal| last=Riccards| first=Michael P.| author-link=Michael P. Riccards| title=Lincoln and the Political Question: The Creation of the State of West Virginia| journal=Presidential Studies Quarterly| volume=27| issue=3| date=Summer 1997}}</ref>
  +
* Maine, 1820, from Massachusetts ([[District of Maine]])<ref name=StatesShapes /><ref name=GP/><ref name=LPQ/>
  +
* Texas, 1845, previously the [[Republic of Texas]]<ref name=StatesShapes /><ref name=GP/><ref>{{cite book|last1=Holt|first1=Michael F. |title=The fate of their country: politicians, slavery extension, and the coming of the Civil War|date=200|publisher=Hill and Wang|location=New York|page=15|isbn=978-0-8090-4439-9}}</ref>
  +
* Vermont, 1791, previously the [[Vermont Republic]] (also known as the [[New Hampshire Grants]] and claimed by New York)<ref name=StatesShapes /><ref name=GP/><ref>{{cite web|title=The 14th State|url=https://vermonthistory.org/explorer/vermont-stories/becoming-a-state/the-14th-state|website=Vermont History Explorer|publisher=Vermont Historical Society|access-date=April 8, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20151221065839/http://vermonthistory.org/explorer/vermont-stories/becoming-a-state/the-14th-state|archive-date=December 21, 2015|url-status=live}}</ref>
  +
* West Virginia, 1863, from [[Restored Government of Virginia|Virginia]] (Trans-[[Allegheny Mountains|Allegheny]] region counties) during the [[American Civil War|Civil War]]<ref name=GP/><ref name=LPQ/><ref>{{cite web|title=A State of Convenience: The Creation of West Virginia, Chapter Twelve, Reorganized Government of Virginia Approves Separation|url=http://www.wvculture.org/history/statehood/statehood12.html|website=Wvculture.org|publisher=West Virginia Division of Culture and History|access-date=April 8, 2016|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160303173849/http://www.wvculture.org/history/statehood/statehood12.html|archive-date=March 3, 2016|url-status=live}}</ref>
   
  +
Congress is under no obligation to admit states, even in those areas whose population expresses a desire for statehood. Such has been the case numerous times during the nation's history. In one instance, [[Mormon pioneers]] in [[Salt Lake City]] sought to establish the state of [[State of Deseret|Deseret]] in 1849. It existed for slightly over two years and was never approved by the [[United States Congress]]. In another, leaders of the [[Five Civilized Tribes]] (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole) in [[Indian Territory]] proposed to establish the state of [[State of Sequoyah|Sequoyah]] in 1905, as a means to retain control of their lands.<ref name="museum">{{cite web| url=http://www.museumoftheredriver.org/choctaw.html| title=Museum of the Red River - The Choctaw| year=2005| access-date=August 4, 2009| publisher=Museum of the Red River| url-status=dead| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20090615223442/http://www.museumoftheredriver.org/choctaw.html| archive-date=June 15, 2009| df=mdy-all}}</ref> The proposed constitution ultimately failed in the U.S. Congress. Instead, the Indian Territory, along with [[Oklahoma Territory]] were both incorporated into the new state of Oklahoma in 1907. The first instance occurred while the nation still operated under the Articles of Confederation. The [[State of Franklin]] existed for several years, not long after the end of the American Revolution, but was never recognized by the Confederation Congress, which ultimately recognized [[North Carolina]]'s claim of sovereignty over the area. The territory comprising Franklin later became part of the Southwest Territory, and ultimately of the state of Tennessee.
President [[George W. Bush]] signed an additional amendment to Executive Order 13183 on December 3, 2003, which established the current co-chairs and instructed the task force to issue reports as needed, but no less than once every two years. In December 2005, the presidential task force proposed a new set of referendums on the issue; if Congress votes in line with the task force's recommendation, it would pave the way for the first congressionally mandated votes on status in the island, and (potentially) statehood by 2012. The task force's December 2007 status report reiterated and confirmed the proposals made in 2005.<ref name="usdoj.gov"/><ref>{{cite web|url=http://charma.uprm.edu/~angel/Puerto_Rico/reporte_status.pdf |title=Report By the President's Task Force On Puerto Rico's Status (December 2005)|format=PDF |date= |accessdate=2010-07-25}}</ref><ref>[http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:170:./temp/~bdadu6::|/bss/d111query.html H.R. 2499]&nbsp;– [[Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009]] H.R. 2499</ref>
 
   
  +
Additionally, the entry of several states into the Union was delayed due to distinctive complicating factors. Among them, [[Michigan Territory]], which petitioned Congress for statehood in 1835, was not admitted to the Union until 1837, due to a [[Toledo War|boundary dispute]] with the adjoining state of Ohio. The [[Republic of Texas]] requested annexation to the United States in 1837, but fears about potential conflict with Mexico delayed the admission of Texas for nine years.<ref>{{cite book| first=Richard Bruce| last= Winders| title=Crisis in the Southwest: the United States, Mexico, and the Struggle over Texas| url=https://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC| year= 2002| publisher= Rowman & Littlefield |isbn=978-0-8420-2801-1|pages= [https://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC&pg=PA82 82], [https://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC&pg=PA92 92]| access-date=October 30, 2018| via=[[Google Books]]}}</ref> Statehood for [[Kansas Territory]] was held up for several years (1854–61) due to a series of internal [[Bleeding Kansas|violent conflicts]] involving [[Free-Stater (Kansas)|anti-slavery]] and [[Border Ruffian|pro-slavery]] factions. West Virginia's bid for statehood was also delayed over slavery, and was settled when it agreed to adopt a gradual abolition plan.<ref>Oakes, James ''Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861–1865'', W.W. Norton, 2012, pgs. 296-97</ref>
President [[Barack Obama]] appointed a new Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status.<ref>[http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-amending-executive-orders-13183-and-13494 AMENDMENTS TO EXECUTIVE ORDERS 13183]</ref> In March 2011, it recommended that all relevant parties—the President, Congress, and the leadership and people of Puerto Rico—work to ensure that Puerto Ricans are able to express their will about status options and have that will acted upon by the end of 2012 or soon thereafter.<ref name="President Task Force Status Report 2011">[http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/Puerto_Rico_Task_Force_Report.pdf REPORT BY THE PRESIDENT’S TASK FORCE ON PUERTO RICO’S STATUS March 2011], Page 23, Recommendation No. 1</ref>
 
  +
{{Further| Historic regions of the United States|List of U.S. state partition proposals}}
The report further recommends, "... if efforts on the Island do not provide a clear result in the short term, the President should support, and Congress should enact, self-executing legislation that specifies in advance for the people of Puerto Rico a set of acceptable status options, including the Statehood, that the United States is politically committed to fulfilling.
 
This legislation should commit the United States to honor the choice of the people of Puerto Rico (provided it is one of the status options specified in the legislation) and should specify the means by which such a choice would be made. The Task Force recommends that, by the end of 2012, the Administration develop, draft, and work with Congress to enact the proposed legislation."<ref name="President Task Force Status Report 2011"/>
 
   
  +
==Possible new states==
====Washington, D.C.====
 
  +
{{Further|51st state}}
The intention of the [[Founding Fathers of the United States|Founding Fathers]] was that the United States capital should be at a neutral site, not giving favor to any existing state; as a result, the [[District of Columbia]] was created in 1800 to serve as the [[seat of government]]. The inhabitants of the District do not have [[Proportional representation|full representation]] in Congress or a sovereign elected government (they were allotted presidential electors by the [[Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution|23rd amendment]], and have a [[Delegate (United States Congress)|non-voting delegate]] in [[U.S. Congress|Congress]]). Some residents of the District support [[D.C. statehood movement#History|statehood]] of some form for that jurisdiction—either statehood for the whole district or for the inhabited part, with the remainder remaining under [[federal jurisdiction (United States)|federal jurisdiction]]. While statehood is always a live [[political question]] in the District, the prospects for any movement in that direction in the immediate future seem dim.
 
   
  +
===Puerto Rico===
According to Article IV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, "New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress."<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleiv.html#section3 |title=Article IV &#124; LII / Legal Information Institute |publisher=Law.cornell.edu |date= |accessdate=2010-07-25}}</ref> This was the case when Maine was split off from Massachusetts; and when West Virginia was split from Virginia during the Civil War. When [[Texas]] was admitted to the union in 1845, it was much larger than any other state and was specifically granted the right to divide itself into as many as five separate states.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.snopes.com/history/american/texas.asp |title=Texas Dividing into Five States |publisher=snopes.com |date= |accessdate=2010-07-25}}</ref>
 
  +
{{Main|Political status of Puerto Rico|Proposed political status for Puerto Rico}}
   
  +
[[Puerto Rico]], an [[Unincorporated territories of the United States|unincorporated U.S. territory]], refers to itself as the "[[Commonwealth (U.S. insular area)|Commonwealth]] of Puerto Rico" in the English version of its [[Constitution of Puerto Rico|constitution]], and as "Estado Libre Asociado" (literally, Associated Free State) in the Spanish version. As with all U.S. territories, its residents do not have full representation in the United States Congress. Puerto Rico has limited representation in the U.S. House of Representatives in the form of a [[Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico|Resident Commissioner]], a delegate with limited voting rights in the [[Committee of the Whole (United States House of Representatives)|Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union]], but no voting rights otherwise.<ref name="rhg">{{cite web|url=http://www.rules.house.gov/ruleprec/110th.pdf |title=Rules of the House of Representatives |access-date=July 25, 2010 |url-status=dead |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20100528025556/http://www.rules.house.gov/ruleprec/110th.pdf |archive-date=May 28, 2010}}</ref>
===Unrecognized entities===
 
: ''See also: [[Historical regions of the United States#Unrecognized or self-declared entities|Historical regions of the United States]]''
 
   
  +
A non-binding referendum on statehood, independence, or a new option for an associated territory (different from the current status) was held on November 6, 2012. Sixty one percent (61%) of voters chose the statehood option, while one third of the ballots were submitted blank.<ref name="Puerto Ricans favor statehood">{{cite web|url=https://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/election-puerto-rico/index.html|title=''Puerto Ricans favor statehood for first time''|date=November 7, 2012|work=CNN|access-date=October 8, 2014|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141006192057/https://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/election-puerto-rico/index.html|archive-date=October 6, 2014|url-status=live}}</ref><ref name="Puerto Ricans opt for statehood">{{cite web|url=https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/07/puerto-ricans-opt-for-statehood-in-referendum/|title=''Puerto Ricans opt for statehood''|work=Fox News|access-date=October 8, 2014|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141007083423/https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/07/puerto-ricans-opt-for-statehood-in-referendum/|archive-date=October 7, 2014|url-status=live}}</ref>
* The [[State of Franklin]] existed for four years not long after the end of the American Revolution, but was never recognized by the union, which ultimately recognized [[North Carolina]]'s claim of sovereignty over the area. A majority of the states were willing to recognize Franklin, but the number of states in favor fell short of the two-thirds majority required to admit a territory to statehood under the [[Articles of Confederation]]. The territory comprising Franklin later became part of the state of Tennessee.
 
* The [[Superior (proposed state)|State of Superior]] was a proposed state formed out of the [[Upper Peninsula of Michigan|Upper Peninsula]] of [[Michigan]]. Several prominent legislators including local politician [[Dominic Jacobetti]] formally attempted this legislation in the 1970s, with no success. As a state, it would have had, by far, the smallest population, and remaining so through the present day. Its 320,000 residents would equal only 60% of Wyoming's population, and less than 50% of Alaska's population.
 
* The [[State of Deseret]] was a provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by the [[Latter-day Saint|Mormon]] settlers in [[Salt Lake City]]. The provisional state existed for slightly over two years and was never accepted by the [[United States Congress]]. Its name was derived from the [[Deseret (Book of Mormon)|word for "honeybee"]] in the [[Book of Mormon]]. Its territory included most of what is now [[Utah]] and [[Nevada]].
 
* State of Jefferson
 
** On July 24, 1859, voters defeated the formation of the proposed [[Jefferson (Mountain state)|State of Jefferson]] in the Southern Rocky Mountains. On October 24, 1859, voters instead approved the formation of the [[Jefferson Territory]], which was superseded by the [[Territory of Colorado]] on February 28, 1861.
 
** In 1915, a second [[Jefferson (South state)|State of Jefferson]] was proposed for the northern third of [[Texas]] but failed to obtain majority approval by the Texas Senate.
 
** In 1941, a third [[Jefferson (Pacific state)|State of Jefferson]] was proposed in the mostly rural area of southern [[Oregon]] and northern [[California]], but was cancelled as a result of the Japanese [[attack on Pearl Harbor]]. This proposal has been raised several times since.
 
* State of Lincoln
 
** [[Lincoln (Northwest state)|Lincoln]] is another state that has been proposed multiple times. It generally consists of the eastern portion of [[Washington (U.S. state)|Washington]] state and the panhandle or northern portion of [[Idaho]]. It was originally proposed by Idaho in 1864 to include just the panhandle of Idaho, and again in 1901 to include eastern Washington. Proposals have come up in 1996, 1999, and 2005.
 
** [[Lincoln (South state)|Lincoln]] is also the name of a failed state proposal after the [[American Civil War|U.S. Civil War]] in 1869. It consisted of the area south and west of [[Texas]]' [[Colorado River (Texas)|Colorado River]].
 
   
  +
On December 11, 2012, the [[Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico]] enacted a [[concurrent resolution]] requesting the [[President of the United States|President]] and the [[Congress of the United States]] to respond to the referendum of the people of Puerto Rico, held on November 6, 2012, to end its current form of territorial status and to begin the process to admit Puerto Rico as a State.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.puertoricoreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2012-concurrent-resolution.pdf|title=The Senate and the House of Representative of Puerto Rico Concurrent Resolution|website=puertoricoreport.org|access-date=December 15, 2012|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130320043957/http://www.puertoricoreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2012-concurrent-resolution.pdf|archive-date=March 20, 2013|url-status=live}}</ref>
==Secession==
 
The Constitution is silent on the issue of the [[secession]] of a state from the union. However, its predecessor document, the Articles of Confederation, stated that the United States of America "shall be perpetual." The question of whether or not individual states held the right to unilateral secession remained a difficult and divisive one until the American Civil War. In 1860 and 1861, eleven southern states seceded, but following their defeat in the American Civil War were brought back into the Union during the [[Reconstruction era of the United States|Reconstruction Era]]. The federal government never recognized the secession of any of the rebellious states. Following the [[American Civil War|Civil War]], the United States Supreme Court, in ''[[Texas v. White]]'', held that states did not have the right to secede and that any act of secession was legally void. Drawing on the [[Preamble to the United States Constitution|Preamble to the Constitution]], which states that the Constitution was intended to "form a more perfect union" and speaks of the people of the United States of America in effect as a single body politic, as well as the language of the Articles of Confederation, the Supreme Court maintained that states did not have a right to secede. However, the court's reference in the same decision to the possibility of such changes occurring "through revolution, or through consent of the States," essentially means that this decision holds that no state has a right to unilaterally decide to leave the Union.<ref name="books.google.com"/><ref name="Texas v. White"/>
 
   
  +
Another [[Puerto Rican status referendum, 2017|status referendum]] was held on June 11, 2017, in which 97% percent of voters chose statehood. Turnout was low, as only 23% of voters went to the polls, with advocates of both continued territorial status and independence urging voters to boycott it.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/11/us/puerto-ricans-vote-on-the-question-of-statehood.html?_r=1|title=23% of Puerto Ricans Vote in Referendum, 97% of Them for Statehood|website=nytimes.com|access-date=June 14, 2017|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20170612202622/https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/11/us/puerto-ricans-vote-on-the-question-of-statehood.html?_r=1|archive-date=June 12, 2017|url-status=live}}</ref>
==Commonwealths==
 
{{Main|Commonwealth (U.S. state)}}
 
   
  +
On June 27, 2018, the H.R. 6246 Act was introduced on the [[U.S. House]] with the purpose of respond to, and comply with, the democratic will of the United States citizens residing in Puerto Rico as expressed in the plebiscites held on November 6, 2012, and June 11, 2017, by setting forth the terms for the admission of the territory of Puerto Rico as a State of the Union.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6246/text|title=To enable the admission of the territory of Puerto Rico into the Union as a State, and for other purposes.|author=Congress.Gov|date=July 7, 2018|website=www.congress.gov|access-date=July 7, 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180707230657/https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6246/text|archive-date=July 7, 2018|url-status=live}}</ref> The act has 37 original cosponsors between Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6246/cosponsors?r=12|title=Cosponsors: H.R.6246 — 115th Congress (2017–2018)|author=Congress.Gov|date=July 7, 2018|website=www.congress.gov|access-date=July 7, 2018|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180707230550/https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6246/cosponsors?r=12|archive-date=July 7, 2018|url-status=live}}</ref>
Four of the states bear the formal title of [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|commonwealth]]: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This is merely a legacy of all four states' history, and their formal name has no effect on their legal status as states.
 
   
  +
On November 3, 2020, Puerto Rico held another [[2020 Puerto Rican status referendum|referendum]]. In the non-binding referendum, Puerto Ricans voted in favor of becoming a state. They also voted for a pro-statehood [[Governor of Puerto Rico|governor]], [[Pedro Pierluisi]].<ref>{{Cite news|last=Santiago|first=Abdiel|last2=Kustov|first2=Alexander|last3=Valenzuela|first3=Ali A.|title=Analysis {{!}} Puerto Ricans voted to become the 51st U.S. state — again|language=en-US|work=[[The Washington Post]]|url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/13/puerto-ricans-voted-become-51st-us-state-again/|access-date=2020-12-07|issn=0190-8286}}</ref>
Somewhat confusingly, the U.S. territories of the [[Northern Marianas]] and [[Puerto Rico]] are also referred to as [[Commonwealth (U.S. insular area)|commonwealths]], and that designation does have a [[legal status]] different from that of the 50 states. Both of these commonwealths are [[unincorporated territories]] of the United States.
 
   
  +
===Washington, D.C.===
==Origin of states' names==
 
  +
{{Main|District of Columbia statehood movement}}
[[File:US State Name Etymologies4.png|thumb|250px|Map showing the source languages of state names]]
 
{{main|List of U.S. state name etymologies}}
 
Twenty-four of the states' names originate from [[Indigenous languages of the Americas|Native American languages]]. Of these, eight are from [[Algonquian languages]], seven are from [[Siouan languages]], one is from [[Uto-Aztecan languages]] and five others are from other indigenous languages. [[Hawaii]]'s name is derived from the [[Polynesian languages|Polynesian]] [[Hawaiian Language]].
 
   
  +
The intention of the [[Founding Fathers of the United States|Founding Fathers]] was that the United States capital should be at a neutral site, not giving favor to any existing state; as a result, the District of Columbia was created in 1800 to serve as the [[seat of government]]. As it is not a state, the district does not have representation in the Senate and has a [[Delegate (United States Congress)|non-voting delegate]] in the House; neither does it have a sovereign elected government. Additionally, prior to [[ratification]] of the [[Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution|23rd Amendment]] in 1961, district citizens did not get the [[Voting rights in the United States|right to vote]] in Presidential elections.
Of the remaining names, 22 are from European languages: Seven from [[Latin]] (mainly [[Latinisation (literature)|Latinized]] forms of English names), the rest are from English, Spanish and French. Eleven states are named after people, including seven named for royalty and one named after an American president. The origins of six state names are unknown or disputed.
 
   
  +
Some residents of the District support statehood of some form for that jurisdiction – either statehood for the whole district or for the inhabited part, with the remainder remaining under [[federal jurisdiction (United States)|federal jurisdiction]]. In November 2016, Washington, D.C. residents voted in a [[District of Columbia statehood referendum, 2016|statehood referendum]] in which 86% of voters supported statehood for Washington, D.C.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Election-Statehood-Council-Seats-400275901.html|title=DC Voters Elect Gray to Council, Approve Statehood Measure|website=nbcwashington.com|access-date=June 14, 2017|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20161109221442/http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Election-Statehood-Council-Seats-400275901.html|archive-date=November 9, 2016|url-status=live}}</ref> For statehood to be achieved, it must be approved by Congress.<ref>{{cite web |title=How Does a Territory Become a State? |url=https://www.puertoricoreport.com/how-does-a-territory-become-a-state/ |website=www.puertoricoreport.com |publisher=Puerto Rico Report |access-date=November 27, 2019 |date=November 23, 2018}}</ref>
==Regional grouping==
 
[[File:Map of USA showing regions.png|thumb|340px|right|U.S. Census Bureau regions:<br />[[Western United States|The West]], [[Midwestern United States|The Midwest]], [[Southern United States|The South]] and [[Northeastern United States|The Northeast]]. <!--- Alaska is shown at a different scale. The [[Aleutian Islands]] and the [[uninhabited island|uninhabited]] [[Northwestern Hawaiian Islands]] are omitted from this map. --->]]
 
   
  +
===Others===
States may be grouped in regions; there are endless variations and possible groupings, as most states are not defined by obvious geographic or cultural borders. For further discussion of regions of the U.S., see the [[list of regions of the United States]].
 
  +
Other possible new states are [[Guam]] and the [[United States Virgin Islands|U.S. Virgin Islands]], both of which are [[Territories of the United States#Incorporated and unincorporated territories|unincorporated organized territories]] of the United States. Also, either the Commonwealth of the [[Northern Mariana Islands]] or [[American Samoa]], an unorganized, unincorporated territory, could seek statehood.
   
  +
==Secession from the Union==
==Borders==
 
  +
{{Main|Secession in the United States}}
The northern and southern borders of the [[Thirteen Colonies]] on the East Coast were largely determined by colonial charters and anchoring coastal settlements. The western boundaries were determined by the limits of transportation, the infeasibility of settling areas dominated by Native Americans and foreign powers, and the decision to create new states out of western territories.
 
   
  +
The Constitution is silent on the issue of whether a state can [[Secession|secede]] from the Union. Its predecessor, the [[Articles of Confederation]], stated that the United States "shall be [[Perpetual Union|perpetual]]." The question of whether or not individual states held the unilateral right to secession was a passionately debated feature of the nations's political discourse from early in its history, and remained a difficult and divisive topic until the [[American Civil War]]. In 1860 and 1861, 11 southern states each declared secession from the United States, and joined together to form the [[Confederate States of America]] (CSA). Following the defeat of Confederate forces by Union armies in 1865, those states were brought back into the Union during the ensuing [[Reconstruction era of the United States|Reconstruction Era]]. The federal government never recognized the sovereignty of the CSA, nor the validity of the [[Ordinance of Secession|ordinances of secession]] adopted by the seceding states.<ref name=PavkovićRadan/><ref name=74700TvW>{{cite web| title=Texas v. White| url=https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/74/700| publisher=Legal Information Institute| location=Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York| access-date=March 14, 2018| archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20180313024759/https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/74/700| archive-date=March 13, 2018| url-status=live| df=mdy-all}}</ref>
[[List of river borders of U.S. states|River borders between states]] are common. At various times, national borders with territories formerly controlled by other countries (namely the British colonies of [[Canada]], [[New France]], [[New Spain]] including [[Spanish Florida]], and [[Russian North America]]) became institutionalized as the borders of U.S. states. [[Alaska]] was formerly the colony of [[Russian America]].
 
   
  +
Following the war, the United States Supreme Court, in ''[[Texas v. White]]'' (1869), held that states did not have the right to secede and that any act of secession was legally void. Drawing on the [[Preamble to the United States Constitution|Preamble to the Constitution]], which states that the Constitution was intended to "form a more perfect union" and speaks of the people of the United States in effect as a single body politic, as well as the language of the Articles of Confederation, the Supreme Court maintained that states did not have a right to secede. However, the court's reference in the same decision to the possibility of such changes occurring "through revolution, or through consent of the States," essentially means that this decision holds that no state has a right to unilaterally decide to leave the Union.<ref name=PavkovićRadan/><ref name=74700TvW/>
Most borders beyond the Thirteen Colonies were created by Congress as it created territories, divided them, and turned them into states as they became more populated. Territorial and new state lines followed various geographic features, economic units, and the pattern of settlement. In the West, relatively arbitrary straight lines following latitude and longitude often prevail, due to the sparseness of settlement west of the Mississippi River. Faster transportation also meant that larger states were more feasible to govern from a single capital. [[Vermont]], [[California]], and [[Texas]] were each briefly independent nations, as was [[Hawaii]] for a more extensive period of time. Some states were previously part of other states, including [[Maine]], [[West Virginia]], [[Kentucky]], and [[Tennessee]]. Occasionally the [[United States Congress]] or the [[United States Supreme Court]] have settled state border disputes.
 
{{clear}}
 
   
  +
==Origins of states' names==
==Census statistical areas==
 
  +
{{Further|List of state and territory name etymologies of the United States}}
{{US Census Labelled Map|float=center}}
 
  +
[[File:US State Name Etymologies4.png|thumb|upright=1.25|A map showing the source languages of state names]]
  +
  +
The 50 states have taken their names from a wide variety of languages. Twenty-four state names originate from [[Indigenous languages of the Americas|Native American languages]]. Of these, eight are from [[Algonquian languages]], seven are from [[Siouan languages]], three are from [[Iroquoian languages]], one is from [[Uto-Aztecan languages]] and five others are from other indigenous languages. [[Hawaii]]'s name is derived from the [[Polynesian languages|Polynesian]] [[Hawaiian language]].
  +
  +
Of the remaining names, 22 are from European languages. Seven are from [[Latin]] (mainly [[Latinisation (literature)|Latinized]] forms of English names) and the rest are from English, Spanish and French. Eleven states are [[Eponym|named after individual people]], including seven named for royalty and one named after a [[President of the United States]]. The origins of six state names are unknown or disputed. Several of the states that derive their names from (corrupted) [[ethnonym|names used for Native peoples]] have retained the plural ending of "s".
  +
  +
==Geography==
  +
  +
===Borders===
  +
The borders of the 13 original states were largely determined by [[British colonization of the Americas|colonial charters]]. Their western boundaries were subsequently modified as the states ceded their western land claims to the Federal government during the 1780s and 1790s. Many state borders beyond those of the original 13 were set by Congress as it created territories, divided them, and over time, created states within them. Territorial and new state lines often followed various geographic features (such as [[List of river borders of U.S. states|rivers]] or mountain range peaks), and were influenced by settlement or transportation patterns. At various times, national borders with territories formerly controlled by other countries ([[British North America]], [[New France]], [[New Spain]] including [[Spanish Florida]], and [[Russian America]]) became institutionalized as the borders of U.S. states. In the West, relatively arbitrary straight lines following latitude and longitude often prevail, due to the sparseness of settlement west of the Mississippi River.
  +
  +
Once established, most state borders have, with few exceptions, been generally stable. Only two states, Missouri ([[Platte Purchase]]) and Nevada, grew appreciably after statehood. Several of the original states [[State cessions|ceded land]], over a several year period, to the Federal government, which in turn became the Northwest Territory, [[Southwest Territory]], and [[Mississippi Territory]]. In 1791, Maryland and Virginia ceded land to create the [[District of Columbia]] (Virginia's portion was [[District of Columbia retrocession|returned]] in 1847). In 1850, Texas ceded a large swath of land to the federal government. Additionally, Massachusetts and Virginia (on two occasions), have lost land, in each instance to form a new state.
  +
  +
There have been numerous other minor adjustments to state boundaries over the years due to improved surveys, resolution of ambiguous or disputed boundary definitions, or minor mutually agreed boundary adjustments for administrative convenience or other purposes.<ref name=StatesShapes>{{cite book |last= Stein |first= Mark |title= How the States Got Their Shapes |year= 2008 |publisher= HarperCollins |location= New York |isbn= 9780061431395 |pages= xvi, 334}}</ref> Occasionally, either Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court has had to settle state border disputes. One notable example is the case ''[[New Jersey v. New York]]'', in which [[New Jersey]] won roughly 90% of [[Ellis Island]] from [[New York (state)|New York]] in 1998.<ref>{{cite news |first= Linda |last= Greenhouse |date= May 27, 1998 |url= https://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/27/nyregion/ellis-island-verdict-ruling-high-court-gives-new-jersey-most-ellis-island.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm |title= The Ellis Island Verdict: The Ruling; High Court Gives New Jersey Most of Ellis Island |work= [[The New York Times]] |access-date= August 2, 2012 |archive-url= https://web.archive.org/web/20121115211230/http://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/27/nyregion/ellis-island-verdict-ruling-high-court-gives-new-jersey-most-ellis-island.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm |archive-date= November 15, 2012 |url-status=live |df= mdy-all }}</ref>
  +
  +
===Regional grouping===
  +
{{Further|List of regions of the United States}}
  +
States may be grouped in regions; there are many variations and possible groupings. Many are defined in law or regulations by the federal government. For example, the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf|access-date=January 10, 2013|author=United States Census Bureau, Geography Division|title=Census Regions and Divisions of the United States|archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304125032/http://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf|archive-date=March 4, 2016|url-status=live}}</ref> The Census Bureau region definition is "widely used … for data collection and analysis,"<ref name=NEMS>"The National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 2003" (Report #:DOE/EIA-0581, October 2009). United States Department of Energy, [[Energy Information Administration]].</ref> and is the most commonly used classification system.<ref>"The most widely used regional definitions follow those of the U.S. Bureau of the Census." Seymour Sudman and Norman M. Bradburn, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=8Ay2AAAAIAAJ Asking Questions: A Practical Guide to Questionnaire Design]'' (1982). [[Jossey-Bass]]: p. 205.</ref><ref>"Perhaps the most widely used regional classification system is one developed by the U.S. Census Bureau." Dale M. Lewison, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=oPUJAQAAMAAJ&dq=ISBN9780134614274 Retailing]'', [[Prentice Hall]] (1997): p. 384. {{ISBN|978-0-13-461427-4}}</ref><ref>"(M)ost demographic and food consumption data are presented in this four-region format." Pamela Goyan Kittler, Kathryn P. Sucher, ''[https://books.google.com/books?id=eKdbaMY5AHEC&lpg=PA475&pg=PA475#v=onepage&q&f=false Food and Culture]'', [[Cengage Learning]] (2008): p.475. {{ISBN|9780495115410}}</ref> Other multi-state regions are unofficial, and defined by geography or cultural affinity rather than by state lines.
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
  +
* [[Insular area]]
{{portal|United States}}
 
* [[50 State Quarters]]
+
* [[ISO 3166-2:US]]
* [[Extreme points of the United States]]
 
* [[List of regions of the United States]]
 
* [[List of U.S. counties that share names with U.S. states]]
 
* [[Organized incorporated territories of the United States]]
 
* [[Political divisions of the United States]]
 
* [[States' rights]]
 
* [[United States territorial acquisitions]]
 
* [[Territorial evolution of the United States]]
 
* [[United States territory]]
 
* [[Territories of the United States]]
 
* [[Comparison of U.S. state governments]]
 
{{clear}}
 
   
 
==References==
 
==References==
{{Reflist|2}}
+
{{Reflist}}
   
 
==Further reading==
 
==Further reading==
* Stein, Mark, ''How the States Got Their Shapes'', New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-143138-8
+
* Stein, Mark, ''How the States Got Their Shapes'', New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2008. {{ISBN|978-0-06-143138-8}}
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
* [http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/st/allstate.htm Information about All States] from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''
+
* [https://web.archive.org/web/20090724193858/http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/st/allstate.htm Information about All States] from ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''
* [http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/states/ State Resource Guides, from the Library of Congress]
+
* [https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/states/ State Resource Guides, from the Library of Congress]
* [http://factfinder.census.gov/bf/_lang=en_vt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1R_US9S_geo_id=01000US.html Tables with areas, populations, densities and more (in order of population)]
+
* [http://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20090403025825/http://factfinder.census.gov/bf/_lang=en_vt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1R_US9S_geo_id=01000US.html Tables with areas, populations, densities and more (in order of population)]
* [http://factfinder.census.gov/bf/_lang=en_vt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1_US9_geo_id=01000US.html Tables with areas, populations, densities and more (alphabetical)]
+
* [http://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20090403030000/http://factfinder.census.gov/bf/_lang=en_vt_name=DEC_2000_SF1_U_GCTPH1_US9_geo_id=01000US.html Tables with areas, populations, densities and more (alphabetical)]
 
* [http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml State and Territorial Governments on USA.gov]
 
* [http://www.usa.gov/Agencies/State_and_Territories.shtml State and Territorial Governments on USA.gov]
* [http://www.statemaster.com/index.php StateMaster&nbsp;– statistical database for US States.]
+
* [https://web.archive.org/web/20120616005932/http://www.statemaster.com/index.php StateMaster&nbsp;– statistical database for U.S. states]
* [http://www.top50states.com/ U.S. States: Comparisons, rankings, demographics]
+
* [http://www.50states.com 50states.com States and Capitals]
{{clear}}
 
   
  +
{{clear}}
 
{{United States political divisions|state=expanded}}
 
{{United States political divisions|state=expanded}}
 
{{United States topics}}
 
{{United States topics}}
  +
{{USStateLists}}
  +
{{USCensus Geography}}
 
{{Articles on first-level administrative divisions of North American countries}}
 
{{Articles on first-level administrative divisions of North American countries}}
  +
{{Portal bar|History|Geography|North America|United States}}
  +
   
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:U.S. State}}
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:U.S. State}}
  +
[[Category:Administrative divisions in North America|United States 1]]
  +
[[Category:First-level administrative divisions by country|States, United States]]
 
[[Category:States of the United States| ]]
 
[[Category:States of the United States| ]]
[[Category:Subdivisions of the United States|State]]
+
[[Category:Political divisions of the United States|State]]
[[Category:Country subdivisions of the Americas|United States 1]]
+
[[Category:Types of administrative division|States, United S]]
[[Category:First-level administrative country subdivisions|States, United States]]
 
   
{{usedwp}}
+
{{usedwp|U.S. state}}

Latest revision as of 04:25, 29 March 2021

State
Also known as Commonwealth
(the self-designation of four states)
Category Federated state
Location United States
Number 50
Populations Smallest: Wyoming, 578,759
Largest: California, 39,512,223[1]
Areas Smallest: Rhode Island, 1,545 square miles (4,000 km2)
Largest: Alaska, 665,384 square miles (1,723,340 km2)[2]
Government State government
Subdivisions County (or equivalent)

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside.[3] State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders (such as paroled convicts and children of divorced spouses who are sharing custody).

State governments are allocated power by the people (of each respective state) through their individual constitutions. All are grounded in republican principles, and each provides for a government, consisting of three branches, each with separate and independent powers: executive, legislative, and judicial.[4] States are divided into counties or county-equivalents, which may be assigned some local governmental authority but are not sovereign. County or county-equivalent structure varies widely by state, and states also create other local governments.

States, unlike U.S. territories, possess a number of powers and rights under the United States Constitution. States and their citizens are represented in the United States Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state is also entitled to select a number of electors (equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state) to vote in the Electoral College, the body that directly elects the President of the United States. Additionally, each state has the opportunity to ratify constitutional amendments, and, with the consent of Congress, two or more states may enter into interstate compacts with one another. The police power of each state is also recognized.

Historically, the tasks of local law enforcement, public education, public health, regulating intrastate commerce, and local transportation and infrastructure have generally been considered primarily state responsibilities, although all of these now have significant federal funding and regulation as well. Over time, the Constitution has been amended, and the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed. The general tendency has been toward centralization and incorporation, with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did. There is a continuing debate over states' rights, which concerns the extent and nature of the states' powers and sovereignty in relation to the federal government and the rights of individuals.

The Constitution grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776 by Thirteen British Colonies, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing states.[5] The Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to secede (withdraw) from the Union. Shortly after the Civil War, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Texas v. White, held that a state cannot unilaterally do so.[6][7]

States of the United States[edit | edit source]

The 50 U.S. states, in alphabetical order, along with each state's flag:


Map of USA with state names 2.svg

Background[edit | edit source]

The 13 original states came into existence in July 1776 during the American Revolutionary War, as the successors of the Thirteen Colonies, upon agreeing to the Lee Resolution[8] and signing the United States Declaration of Independence.[9] Prior to these events each state had been a British colony;[8] each then joined the first Union of states between 1777 and 1781, upon ratifying the Articles of Confederation, the first U.S. constitution.[10][11] Also during this period, the newly independent states developed their own individual state constitutions, among the earliest written constitutions in the world.[12] Although different in detail, these state constitutions shared features that would be important in the American constitutional order: they were republican in form, and separated power among three branches, most had bicameral legislatures, and contained statements of, or a bill of rights.[13] Later, from 1787 to 1790, each of the states also ratified a new federal frame of government in the Constitution of the United States.[14] In relation to the states, the U.S. Constitution elaborated concepts of federalism.[15]

Governments[edit | edit source]

Template:Political divisions of the United States

States are not mere administrative divisions of the United States, as their powers and responsibilities are not assigned to them from above by federal legislation or federal administrative action or the federal Constitution. Consequently, each of the 50 states reserves the right to organize its individual government in any way (within the broad parameters set by the U.S. Constitution) deemed appropriate by its people, and to exercise all powers of government not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.[16] A state, unlike the federal government, has un-enumerated police power, that is the right to generally make all necessary laws for the welfare of its people.[17] As a result, while the governments of the various states share many similar features, they often vary greatly with regard to form and substance. No two state governments are identical.

Constitutions[edit | edit source]

The government of each state is structured in accordance with its individual constitution. Many of these documents are more detailed and more elaborate than their federal counterpart. The Constitution of Alabama, for example, contains 310,296 words – more than 40 times as many as the U.S. Constitution.[18] In practice, each state has adopted a three-branch frame of government: executive, legislative, and judicial (even though doing so has never been required).[18][19]

Early on in American history four state governments differentiated themselves from the others in their first constitutions by choosing to self-identify as Commonwealths rather than as states: Virginia, in 1776;[20] Pennsylvania, in 1777; Massachusetts, in 1780; and Kentucky, in 1792. Consequently, while these four are states like the other states, each is formally a commonwealth because the term is contained in its constitution.[21] The term, commonwealth, which refers to a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people, was first used in Virginia during the Interregnum, the 1649–60 period between the reigns of Charles I and Charles II during which parliament's Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector established a republican government known as the Commonwealth of England. Virginia became a royal colony again in 1660, and the word was dropped from the full title; it went unused until reintroduced in 1776.[20]

Executive[edit | edit source]

In each state, the chief executive is called the governor, who serves as both head of state and head of government. All governors are chosen by direct election. The governor may approve or veto bills passed by the state legislature, as well as recommend and work for the passage of bills, usually supported by their political party. In 44 states, governors have line item veto power.[22] Most states have a plural executive, meaning that the governor is not the only government official in the state responsible for its executive branch. In these states, executive power is distributed amongst other officials,[23] elected by the people independently of the governor—such as the lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, secretary of state, and others.

The constitutions of 19 states allow for citizens to remove and replace an elected public official before the end of their term of office through a recall election.[24] Each state follows its own procedures for recall elections, and sets its own restrictions on how often, and how soon after a general election, they may be held. In all states, the legislatures can remove state executive branch officials, including governors, who have committed serious abuses of their power from office. The process of doing so includes impeachment (the bringing of specific charges), and a trial, in which legislators act as a jury.[24]

Legislative[edit | edit source]

The primary responsibilities of state legislatures are to enact state laws and appropriate money for the administration of public policy.[22] In all states, if the governor vetoes a bill (or a portion of one), it can still become law if the legislature overrides the veto (repasses the bill), which in most states requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber.[22] In 49 of the 50 states the legislature consists of two chambers: a lower house (variously called the House of Representatives, State Assembly, General Assembly or House of Delegates) and a smaller upper house, in all states called the Senate. The exception is the unicameral Nebraska Legislature, which has only a single chamber.[25] Most states have a part-time legislature (traditionally called a citizen legislature). Ten state legislatures are considered full-time; these bodies are more similar to the U.S. Congress than are the others.[26]

Members of each state's legislature are chosen by direct election. In Baker v. Carr (1962) and Reynolds v. Sims (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court held that all states are required to elect their legislatures in such a way as to afford each citizen the same degree of representation (the one person, one vote standard). In practice, most states elect legislators from single-member districts, each of which has approximately the same population. Some states, such as Maryland and Vermont, divide the state into single- and multi-member districts, in which case multi-member districts must have proportionately larger populations, e.g., a district electing two representatives must have approximately twice the population of a district electing just one. The voting systems used across the nation are: first-past-the-post in single-member districts, and multiple non-transferable vote in multi-member districts.

In 2013, there were a total of 7,383 legislators in the 50 state legislative bodies. They earned from $0 annually (New Mexico) to $90,526 (California). There were various per diem and mileage compensation.[27]

Judicial[edit | edit source]

States can also organize their judicial systems differently from the federal judiciary, as long as they protect the federal constitutional right of their citizens to procedural due process. Most have a trial level court, generally called a District Court, Superior Court or Circuit Court, a first-level appellate court, generally called a Court of Appeal (or Appeals), and a Supreme Court. However, Oklahoma and Texas have separate highest courts for criminal appeals. In New York State the trial court is called the Supreme Court; appeals are then taken to the Supreme Court's Appellate Division, and from there to the Court of Appeals.

State court systems provide general courts with broad jurisdiction. The overwhelming majority of criminal and civil cases in the United States are heard in state courts. The annual number of cases filed in state courts is around 30,000,000 and the number of judges in state courts is about 30,000—by comparison, federal courts see some 1,000,000 filed cases with about 1700 judges.[28]

Most states base their legal system on English common law (with substantial indigenous changes and incorporation of certain civil law innovations), with the notable exception of Louisiana, a former French colony, which draws large parts of its legal system from French civil law.

Only a few states choose to have the judges on the state's courts serve for life terms. In most of the states the judges, including the justices of the highest court in the state, are either elected or appointed for terms of a limited number of years, and are usually eligible for re-election or reappointment.

States as unitary systems[edit | edit source]

All states are unitary governments, not federations or aggregates of local governments. Local governments within them are created by and exist by virtue of state law, and local governments within each state are subject to the central authority of that particular state. State governments commonly delegate some authority to local units and channel policy decisions down to them for implementation.[29] In a few states, local units of government are permitted a degree of home rule over various matters. The prevailing legal theory of state preeminence over local governments, referred to as Dillon's Rule, holds that,

A municipal corporation possesses and can exercise the following powers and no others: First, those granted in express words; second, those necessarily implied or necessarily incident to the powers expressly granted; third, those absolutely essential to the declared objects and purposes of the corporation—not simply convenient but indispensable; fourth, any fair doubt as to the existence of a power is resolved by the courts against the corporation—against the existence of the powers.[30]

Each state defines for itself what powers it will allow local governments. Generally, four categories of power may be given to local jurisdictions:

  • Structural – power to choose the form of government, charter and enact charter revisions,
  • Functional – power to exercise local self government in a broad or limited manner,
  • Fiscal – authority to determine revenue sources, set tax rates, borrow funds and other related financial activities,
  • Personnel – authority to set employment rules, remuneration rates, employment conditions and collective bargaining.[31]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Among states[edit | edit source]

Each state admitted to the Union by Congress since 1789 has entered it on an equal footing with the original states in all respects.[32] With the growth of states' rights advocacy during the antebellum period, the Supreme Court asserted, in Lessee of Pollard v. Hagan (1845), that the Constitution mandated admission of new states on the basis of equality.[33] With the consent of Congress, states may enter into interstate compacts, agreements between two or more states. Compacts are frequently used to manage a shared resource, such as transportation infrastructure or water rights.[34]

Under Article IV of the Constitution, which outlines the relationship between the states, each state is required to give full faith and credit to the acts of each other's legislatures and courts, which is generally held to include the recognition of most contracts and criminal judgments, and before 1865, slavery status. Under the Extradition Clause, a state must extradite people located there who have fled charges of "treason, felony, or other crimes" in another state if the other state so demands. The principle of hot pursuit of a presumed felon and arrest by the law officers of one state in another state are often permitted by a state.[35]

The full faith and credit expectation does have exceptions, some legal arrangements, such as professional licensure and marriages, may be state-specific, and until recently states have not been found by the courts to be required to honor such arrangements from other states.[36] Such legal acts are nevertheless often recognized state-to-state according to the common practice of comity. States are prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other states with respect to their basic rights, under the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

With the federal government[edit | edit source]

Under Article IV, each state is guaranteed a form of government that is grounded in republican principles, such as the consent of the governed.[37] This guarantee has long been at the fore-front of the debate about the rights of citizens vis-à-vis the government. States are also guaranteed protection from invasion, and, upon the application of the state legislature (or executive, if the legislature cannot be convened), from domestic violence. This provision was discussed during the 1967 Detroit riot, but was not invoked.

The Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land.[38] It provides that state courts are bound by the supreme law; in case of conflict between federal and state law, the federal law must be applied. Even state constitutions are subordinate to federal law.[39]

States' rights are understood mainly with reference to the Tenth Amendment. The Constitution delegates some powers to the national government, and it forbids some powers to the states. The Tenth Amendment reserves all other powers to the states, or to the people. Powers of the U.S. Congress are enumerated in Article I, Section 8, for example, the power to declare war. Making treaties is one power forbidden to the states, being listed among other such powers in Article I, Section 10.

Among the Article I enumerated powers of Congress is the power to regulate Commerce. Since the early 20th century, the Supreme Court's interpretation of this "Commerce Clause" has, over time, greatly expanded scope of federal power, at the expense of powers formerly considered purely states' matters. The Cambridge Economic History of the United States says, "On the whole, especially after the mid-1880s, the Court construed the Commerce Clause in favor of increased federal power."[40] In 1941, the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Darby upheld the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, holding that Congress had the power under the Commerce Clause to regulate employment conditions.[41] Then, one year later, in Wickard v. Filburn, the Court expanded federal power to regulate the economy by holding that federal authority under the commerce clause extends to activities which may appear to be local in nature but in reality effect the entire national economy and are therefore of national concern.[42] For example, Congress can regulate railway traffic across state lines, but it may also regulate rail traffic solely within a state, based on the reality that intrastate traffic still affects interstate commerce. Through such decisions, argues law professor David F. Forte, "the Court turned the commerce power into the equivalent of a general regulatory power and undid the Framers' original structure of limited and delegated powers." Subsequently, Congress invoked the Commerce Clause to expand federal criminal legislation, as well as for social reforms such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Only within the past couple of decades, through decisions in cases such as those in U.S. v. Lopez (1995) and U.S. v. Morrison (2000), has the Court tried to limit the Commerce Clause power of Congress.[43]

Another enumerated congressional power is its taxing and spending power.[44] An example of this is the system of federal aid for highways, which include the Interstate Highway System. The system is mandated and largely funded by the federal government, and also serves the interests of the states. By threatening to withhold federal highway funds, Congress has been able to pressure state legislatures to pass a variety of laws. An example is the nationwide legal drinking age of 21, enacted by each state, brought about by the National Minimum Drinking Age Act. Although some objected that this infringes on states' rights, the Supreme Court upheld the practice as a permissible use of the Constitution's Spending Clause in South Dakota v. Dole 483 U.S. 203 (1987).

As prescribed by Article I of the Constitution, which establishes the U.S. Congress, each state is represented in the Senate (irrespective of population size) by two senators, and each is guaranteed at least one representative in the House. Both senators and representatives are chosen in direct popular elections in the various states. (Prior to 1913, senators were elected by state legislatures.) There are presently 100 senators, who are elected at-large to staggered terms of six years, with one-third of them being chosen every two years. Representatives are elected at-large or from single-member districts to terms of two years (not staggered). The size of the House—presently 435 voting members—is set by federal statute. Seats in the House are distributed among the states in proportion to the most recent constitutionally mandated decennial census.[45] The borders of these districts are established by the states individually through a process called redistricting, and within each state all districts are required to have approximately equal populations.[46]

Citizens in each state plus those in the District of Columbia indirectly elect the president and vice president. When casting ballots in presidential elections they are voting for presidential electors, who then, using procedures provided in the 12th amendment, elect the president and vice president.[47] There were 538 electors for the most recent presidential election in 2020; the allocation of electoral votes was based on the 2010 census.[48] Each state is entitled to a number of electors equal to the total number of representatives and senators from that state; the District of Columbia is entitled to three electors.[49]

While the Constitution does set parameters for the election of federal officials, state law, not federal, regulates most aspects of elections in the U.S., including: primaries, the eligibility of voters (beyond the basic constitutional definition), the running of each state's electoral college, as well as the running of state and local elections. All elections—federal, state and local—are administered by the individual states, and some voting rules and procedures may differ among them.[50]

Article V of the Constitution accords states a key role in the process of amending the U.S. Constitution. Amendments may be proposed either by Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate, or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures.[51] To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either—as determined by Congress—the legislatures of three-quarters of the states or state ratifying conventions in three-quarters of the states.[52] The vote in each state (to either ratify or reject a proposed amendment) carries equal weight, regardless of a state's population or length of time in the Union.

Admission into the Union[edit | edit source]

U.S. states by date of statehood:
Template:Legend inline  Template:Legend inline
Template:Legend inline  Template:Legend inline
Template:Legend inline  Template:Legend inline
Template:Legend inline  Template:Legend inline
Template:Legend inline

The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union

Article IV also grants to Congress the authority to admit new states into the Union. Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from the original 13 to 50. Each new state has been admitted on an equal footing with the existing states.[33] Article IV also forbids the creation of new states from parts of existing states without the consent of both the affected states and Congress. This caveat was designed to give Eastern states that still had Western land claims (including Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia), to have a veto over whether their western counties could become states,[32] and has served this same function since, whenever a proposal to partition an existing state or states in order that a region within might either join another state or to create a new state has come before Congress.

Most of the states admitted to the Union after the original 13 were formed from an organized territory established and governed by Congress in accord with its plenary power under Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2.[53] The outline for this process was established by the Northwest Ordinance (1787), which predates the ratification of the Constitution. In some cases, an entire territory has become a state; in others some part of a territory has.

When the people of a territory make their desire for statehood known to the federal government, Congress may pass an enabling act authorizing the people of that territory to organize a constitutional convention to write a state constitution as a step towards admission to the Union. Each act details the mechanism by which the territory will be admitted as a state following ratification of their constitution and election of state officers. Although the use of an enabling act is a traditional historic practice, a number of territories have drafted constitutions for submission to Congress absent an enabling act and were subsequently admitted. Upon acceptance of that constitution, and upon meeting any additional Congressional stipulations, Congress has always admitted that territory as a state.

In addition to the original 13, six subsequent states were never an organized territory of the federal government, or part of one, before being admitted to the Union. Three were set off from an already existing state, two entered the Union after having been sovereign states, and one was established from unorganized territory:

Congress is under no obligation to admit states, even in those areas whose population expresses a desire for statehood. Such has been the case numerous times during the nation's history. In one instance, Mormon pioneers in Salt Lake City sought to establish the state of Deseret in 1849. It existed for slightly over two years and was never approved by the United States Congress. In another, leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole) in Indian Territory proposed to establish the state of Sequoyah in 1905, as a means to retain control of their lands.[61] The proposed constitution ultimately failed in the U.S. Congress. Instead, the Indian Territory, along with Oklahoma Territory were both incorporated into the new state of Oklahoma in 1907. The first instance occurred while the nation still operated under the Articles of Confederation. The State of Franklin existed for several years, not long after the end of the American Revolution, but was never recognized by the Confederation Congress, which ultimately recognized North Carolina's claim of sovereignty over the area. The territory comprising Franklin later became part of the Southwest Territory, and ultimately of the state of Tennessee.

Additionally, the entry of several states into the Union was delayed due to distinctive complicating factors. Among them, Michigan Territory, which petitioned Congress for statehood in 1835, was not admitted to the Union until 1837, due to a boundary dispute with the adjoining state of Ohio. The Republic of Texas requested annexation to the United States in 1837, but fears about potential conflict with Mexico delayed the admission of Texas for nine years.[62] Statehood for Kansas Territory was held up for several years (1854–61) due to a series of internal violent conflicts involving anti-slavery and pro-slavery factions. West Virginia's bid for statehood was also delayed over slavery, and was settled when it agreed to adopt a gradual abolition plan.[63]

Possible new states[edit | edit source]

Puerto Rico[edit | edit source]

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated U.S. territory, refers to itself as the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" in the English version of its constitution, and as "Estado Libre Asociado" (literally, Associated Free State) in the Spanish version. As with all U.S. territories, its residents do not have full representation in the United States Congress. Puerto Rico has limited representation in the U.S. House of Representatives in the form of a Resident Commissioner, a delegate with limited voting rights in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, but no voting rights otherwise.[64]

A non-binding referendum on statehood, independence, or a new option for an associated territory (different from the current status) was held on November 6, 2012. Sixty one percent (61%) of voters chose the statehood option, while one third of the ballots were submitted blank.[65][66]

On December 11, 2012, the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico enacted a concurrent resolution requesting the President and the Congress of the United States to respond to the referendum of the people of Puerto Rico, held on November 6, 2012, to end its current form of territorial status and to begin the process to admit Puerto Rico as a State.[67]

Another status referendum was held on June 11, 2017, in which 97% percent of voters chose statehood. Turnout was low, as only 23% of voters went to the polls, with advocates of both continued territorial status and independence urging voters to boycott it.[68]

On June 27, 2018, the H.R. 6246 Act was introduced on the U.S. House with the purpose of respond to, and comply with, the democratic will of the United States citizens residing in Puerto Rico as expressed in the plebiscites held on November 6, 2012, and June 11, 2017, by setting forth the terms for the admission of the territory of Puerto Rico as a State of the Union.[69] The act has 37 original cosponsors between Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.[70]

On November 3, 2020, Puerto Rico held another referendum. In the non-binding referendum, Puerto Ricans voted in favor of becoming a state. They also voted for a pro-statehood governor, Pedro Pierluisi.[71]

Washington, D.C.[edit | edit source]

The intention of the Founding Fathers was that the United States capital should be at a neutral site, not giving favor to any existing state; as a result, the District of Columbia was created in 1800 to serve as the seat of government. As it is not a state, the district does not have representation in the Senate and has a non-voting delegate in the House; neither does it have a sovereign elected government. Additionally, prior to ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961, district citizens did not get the right to vote in Presidential elections.

Some residents of the District support statehood of some form for that jurisdiction – either statehood for the whole district or for the inhabited part, with the remainder remaining under federal jurisdiction. In November 2016, Washington, D.C. residents voted in a statehood referendum in which 86% of voters supported statehood for Washington, D.C.[72] For statehood to be achieved, it must be approved by Congress.[73]

Others[edit | edit source]

Other possible new states are Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, both of which are unincorporated organized territories of the United States. Also, either the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or American Samoa, an unorganized, unincorporated territory, could seek statehood.

Secession from the Union[edit | edit source]

The Constitution is silent on the issue of whether a state can secede from the Union. Its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, stated that the United States "shall be perpetual." The question of whether or not individual states held the unilateral right to secession was a passionately debated feature of the nations's political discourse from early in its history, and remained a difficult and divisive topic until the American Civil War. In 1860 and 1861, 11 southern states each declared secession from the United States, and joined together to form the Confederate States of America (CSA). Following the defeat of Confederate forces by Union armies in 1865, those states were brought back into the Union during the ensuing Reconstruction Era. The federal government never recognized the sovereignty of the CSA, nor the validity of the ordinances of secession adopted by the seceding states.[6][74]

Following the war, the United States Supreme Court, in Texas v. White (1869), held that states did not have the right to secede and that any act of secession was legally void. Drawing on the Preamble to the Constitution, which states that the Constitution was intended to "form a more perfect union" and speaks of the people of the United States in effect as a single body politic, as well as the language of the Articles of Confederation, the Supreme Court maintained that states did not have a right to secede. However, the court's reference in the same decision to the possibility of such changes occurring "through revolution, or through consent of the States," essentially means that this decision holds that no state has a right to unilaterally decide to leave the Union.[6][74]

Origins of states' names[edit | edit source]

A map showing the source languages of state names

The 50 states have taken their names from a wide variety of languages. Twenty-four state names originate from Native American languages. Of these, eight are from Algonquian languages, seven are from Siouan languages, three are from Iroquoian languages, one is from Uto-Aztecan languages and five others are from other indigenous languages. Hawaii's name is derived from the Polynesian Hawaiian language.

Of the remaining names, 22 are from European languages. Seven are from Latin (mainly Latinized forms of English names) and the rest are from English, Spanish and French. Eleven states are named after individual people, including seven named for royalty and one named after a President of the United States. The origins of six state names are unknown or disputed. Several of the states that derive their names from (corrupted) names used for Native peoples have retained the plural ending of "s".

Geography[edit | edit source]

Borders[edit | edit source]

The borders of the 13 original states were largely determined by colonial charters. Their western boundaries were subsequently modified as the states ceded their western land claims to the Federal government during the 1780s and 1790s. Many state borders beyond those of the original 13 were set by Congress as it created territories, divided them, and over time, created states within them. Territorial and new state lines often followed various geographic features (such as rivers or mountain range peaks), and were influenced by settlement or transportation patterns. At various times, national borders with territories formerly controlled by other countries (British North America, New France, New Spain including Spanish Florida, and Russian America) became institutionalized as the borders of U.S. states. In the West, relatively arbitrary straight lines following latitude and longitude often prevail, due to the sparseness of settlement west of the Mississippi River.

Once established, most state borders have, with few exceptions, been generally stable. Only two states, Missouri (Platte Purchase) and Nevada, grew appreciably after statehood. Several of the original states ceded land, over a several year period, to the Federal government, which in turn became the Northwest Territory, Southwest Territory, and Mississippi Territory. In 1791, Maryland and Virginia ceded land to create the District of Columbia (Virginia's portion was returned in 1847). In 1850, Texas ceded a large swath of land to the federal government. Additionally, Massachusetts and Virginia (on two occasions), have lost land, in each instance to form a new state.

There have been numerous other minor adjustments to state boundaries over the years due to improved surveys, resolution of ambiguous or disputed boundary definitions, or minor mutually agreed boundary adjustments for administrative convenience or other purposes.[54] Occasionally, either Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court has had to settle state border disputes. One notable example is the case New Jersey v. New York, in which New Jersey won roughly 90% of Ellis Island from New York in 1998.[75]

Regional grouping[edit | edit source]

States may be grouped in regions; there are many variations and possible groupings. Many are defined in law or regulations by the federal government. For example, the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions.[76] The Census Bureau region definition is "widely used … for data collection and analysis,"[77] and is the most commonly used classification system.[78][79][80] Other multi-state regions are unofficial, and defined by geography or cultural affinity rather than by state lines.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ "Population, Population Change, and Estimated Components of Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2019 (NST-EST2019-alldata)". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-state-total.html. 
  2. ^ "State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates". Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/state-area.html. 
  3. ^ Erler, Edward. "Essays on Amendment XIV: Citizenship". The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/14/essays/167/citizenship. 
  4. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature". Minnesota State Legislature. http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faq/faqtoc.aspx?subject=1. 
  5. ^ "Doctrine of the Equality of States". https://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/15-doctrine-of-the-equality-of-states.html. 
  6. ^ a b c Pavković, Aleksandar; Radan, Peter (2007). Creating New States: Theory and Practice of Secession. Ashgate Publishing. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-7546-7163-3. https://books.google.com/books?id=-IjHbPvp1W0C. 
  7. ^ "Texas v. White 74 U.S. 700 (1868)". Mountain View, California: Justia. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/74/700/. 
  8. ^ a b "Delegate Discussions: The Lee Resolution(s)" (in en). Course of Human Events. Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. https://declaration.fas.harvard.edu/blog/dd-lee-resolution. 
  9. ^ "Declaration of Independence: A Transcription" (in en). 2015-11-01. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript. 
  10. ^ Zimmerman, Joseph F. (2012) (in en). Interstate Cooperation, Second Edition: Compacts and Administrative Agreements. SUNY Press. pp. 4–7. ISBN 9781438442365. https://books.google.com/books?id=hDQpHzSrI0QC. 
  11. ^ Jensen, Merrill (1959). The Articles of Confederation: An Interpretation of the Social-Constitutional History of the American Revolution, 1774–1781. University of Wisconsin Press. pp. xi, 184. ISBN 978-0-299-00204-6. 
  12. ^ Beeman, Richard R.. "The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Revolution in Government". National Constitution Center. https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/white-pages/the-constitutional-convention-of-1787-a-revolution-in-government. 
  13. ^ "How the First State Constitutions helped build the Federal Constitution". Constitutional Rights Foundation. pp. 10–12. https://www.crf-usa.org/images/pdf/gates/First-States-Constitution.pdf. 
  14. ^ "Observing Constitution Day" (in en). August 15, 2016. https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/ratification.html. 
  15. ^ Barnett, Randy E.; Gerken, Heather. "Article I, Section 8: Federalism and the overall scope of federal power". https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/article-i-section-8-federalism-and-the-overall-scope-of-federal-power/. 
  16. ^ "10th Amendment US Constitution--Reserved Powers". https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/GPO-CONAN-1992/pdf/GPO-CONAN-1992-10-11.pdf. 
  17. ^ "Police Power". West's Encyclopedia of American Law (2 ed.). Gale Group. 2008. https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Police+Power. Retrieved September 10, 2019. 
  18. ^ a b "State & Local Government". Washington, D.C.: The White House. https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/state-local-government/. 
  19. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions About the Minnesota Legislature". Minnesota State Legislature. http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/faq/faqtoc.aspx?subject=1. 
  20. ^ a b Salmon, Emily J.; Campbell Jr., Edward D. C., eds (1994). The Hornbook of Virginia History (4th ed.). Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Office of Graphic Communications. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-88490-177-8. http://www.lva.virginia.gov/faq/va.asp#six. 
  21. ^ "Why is Massachusetts a Commonwealth?". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2016. http://www.mass.gov/anf/research-and-tech/legal-and-legislative-resources/why-is-massachusetts-a-commonwealth.html. 
  22. ^ a b c "Separation of Powers--Executive Veto Powers". National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/separation-of-powers-executive-veto-powers.aspx. 
  23. ^ Regalado, Daniel M.. "The Texas Plural Executive". Texas Government (Chapter 4). Lumen Learning. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/odessa-texasgovernment/chapter/plural-executive/. 
  24. ^ a b "Recall of State Officials". National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/recall-of-state-officials.aspx. 
  25. ^ "History of the Nebraska Unicameral: The Birth of a Unicameral". Lincoln, Nebraska: Nebraska Legislature. https://nebraskalegislature.gov/about/history_unicameral.php. 
  26. ^ "Full- and Part-time Legislatures". National Conference of State Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/full-and-part-time-legislatures.aspx. 
  27. ^ Wilson, Reid (August 23, 2013). "GovBeat:For legislators, salaries start at zero". Washington Post (Washington, DC): pp. A2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/08/23/how-much-are-your-legislators-paid/. 
  28. ^ "Federal vs. State Courts - Key Differences - FindLaw" (in en-US). https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/federal-vs-state-courts-key-differences.html. 
  29. ^ "Unitary system". Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. https://www.britannica.com/topic/unitary-system. 
  30. ^ (1976) "The Dillon Rule -- A limit on Local Government Powers". Missouri Law Review 41 (4). 
  31. ^ "Local Government Authority". National League of Cities. http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/resources/cities-101/city-powers/local-government-authority. 
  32. ^ a b Forte, David F.. "Essays on Article IV: New States Clause". The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. http://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/4/essays/125/new-states-clause. 
  33. ^ a b "Doctrine of the Equality of States". http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/22-doctrine-of-equality-of-states.html. 
  34. ^ deGolian, Crady. "Interstate Compacts: Background and History". Council on State Governments. http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/drupal/content/interstate-compacts-background-and-history. 
  35. ^ "Hot Pursuit Law & Legal Definition". USLegal, Inc.. http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/hot-pursuit. 
  36. ^ Adam Liptak (March 17, 2004). "Bans on Interracial Unions Offer Perspective on Gay Ones". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/17/us/bans-on-interracial-unions-offer-perspective-on-gay-ones.html?pagewanted=1. 
  37. ^ Ernest B. Abbott; Otto J. Hetzel (2010). Homeland Security and Emergency Management: A Legal Guide for State and Local Governments. American Bar Association. p. 52. ISBN 9781604428179. https://books.google.com/books?id=crI0pYe2vmMC&pg=PA52. 
  38. ^ Cornell University Law School. "Supremacy Clause". law.cornell.edu. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/supremacy_clause. 
  39. ^ Burnham, William (2006). Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, 4th ed.. St. Paul: Thomson West. p. 41. 
  40. ^ Stanley Lewis Engerman (2000). The Cambridge economic history of the United States: the colonial era. Cambridge University Press. p. 464. ISBN 978-0-521-55307-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=6sDXBGMbrWkC. 
  41. ^ "United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941)". Mountain View, California: Justia. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/312/100/. 
  42. ^ David Shultz (2005). Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court. Infobase Publishing. p. 522. ISBN 978-0-8160-5086-4. https://books.google.com/books?id=I_f6Oo9H3YsC. 
  43. ^ Forte, David F.. "Essays on Article I: Commerce among the States". Heritage Guide to the Constitution. Heritage Foundation. https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/1/essays/38/commerce-among-the-states. 
  44. ^ "Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8". https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/articlei#section8. 
  45. ^ Kristin D. Burnett. "Congressional Apportionment (2010 Census Briefs C2010BR-08)". U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration. https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-08.pdf. 
  46. ^ Levitt, Justin. "Who draws the lines". All About Redistricting. Los Angeles, California: University of Loyola Law School. http://redistricting.lls.edu/who.php. 
  47. ^ Fried, Charles. "Essays on Amendment XII: Electoral College". Heritage Guide to the Constitution. Heritage Foundation. https://www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/amendments/12/essays/165/electoral-college. 
  48. ^ "The 2016 Presidential Election: Provisions of the Constitution and United States Code". Washington, D.C.: Office of the Federal Register, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. February 2018. p. 6. https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/resources/2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf. 
  49. ^ Whitaker, L. Paige; Neale, Thomas H. (November 5, 2004). "The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals". Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress. https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5853/m1/1/high_res_d/RL30804_2004Nov05.pdf. 
  50. ^ "Elections & Voting". Washington, D.C.: The White House. https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/elections-voting/. 
  51. ^ "The Constitutional Amendment Process". The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/constitution/. 
  52. ^ Wines, Michael (August 22, 2016). "Inside the Conservative Push for States to Amend the Constitution". NYT. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/23/us/inside-the-conservative-push-for-states-to-amend-the-constitution.html. 
  53. ^ "Property and Territory: Powers of Congress". http://law.justia.com/constitution/us/article-4/25-methods-of-disposing-property.html. 
  54. ^ a b c d e f Stein, Mark (2008). How the States Got Their Shapes. New York: HarperCollins. pp. xvi, 334. ISBN 9780061431395. 
  55. ^ a b c d e f "Official Name and Status History of the several States and U.S. Territories". http://www.thegreenpapers.com/slg/statehood.phtml. 
  56. ^ "California Admission Day September 9, 1850". California Department of Parks and Recreation. http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23856. 
  57. ^ a b c Riccards, Michael P. (Summer 1997). "Lincoln and the Political Question: The Creation of the State of West Virginia". Presidential Studies Quarterly 27 (3). 
  58. ^ Holt, Michael F. (200). The fate of their country: politicians, slavery extension, and the coming of the Civil War. New York: Hill and Wang. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-8090-4439-9. 
  59. ^ "The 14th State". Vermont Historical Society. https://vermonthistory.org/explorer/vermont-stories/becoming-a-state/the-14th-state. 
  60. ^ "A State of Convenience: The Creation of West Virginia, Chapter Twelve, Reorganized Government of Virginia Approves Separation". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. http://www.wvculture.org/history/statehood/statehood12.html. 
  61. ^ "Museum of the Red River - The Choctaw". Museum of the Red River. 2005. http://www.museumoftheredriver.org/choctaw.html. 
  62. ^ Winders, Richard Bruce (2002). Crisis in the Southwest: the United States, Mexico, and the Struggle over Texas. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 82, 92. ISBN 978-0-8420-2801-1. https://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC. 
  63. ^ Oakes, James Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861–1865, W.W. Norton, 2012, pgs. 296-97
  64. ^ "Rules of the House of Representatives". http://www.rules.house.gov/ruleprec/110th.pdf. 
  65. ^ "Puerto Ricans favor statehood for first time". CNN. November 7, 2012. https://www.cnn.com/2012/11/07/politics/election-puerto-rico/index.html. 
  66. ^ "Puerto Ricans opt for statehood". Fox News. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/07/puerto-ricans-opt-for-statehood-in-referendum/. 
  67. ^ "The Senate and the House of Representative of Puerto Rico Concurrent Resolution". http://www.puertoricoreport.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/2012-concurrent-resolution.pdf. 
  68. ^ "23% of Puerto Ricans Vote in Referendum, 97% of Them for Statehood". https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/11/us/puerto-ricans-vote-on-the-question-of-statehood.html?_r=1. 
  69. ^ Congress.Gov (July 7, 2018). "To enable the admission of the territory of Puerto Rico into the Union as a State, and for other purposes.". https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6246/text. 
  70. ^ Congress.Gov (July 7, 2018). "Cosponsors: H.R.6246 — 115th Congress (2017–2018)". https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6246/cosponsors?r=12. 
  71. ^ Santiago, Abdiel; Kustov, Alexander; Valenzuela, Ali A.. "Analysis | Puerto Ricans voted to become the 51st U.S. state — again" (in en-US). The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/13/puerto-ricans-voted-become-51st-us-state-again/. 
  72. ^ "DC Voters Elect Gray to Council, Approve Statehood Measure". http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Election-Statehood-Council-Seats-400275901.html. 
  73. ^ "How Does a Territory Become a State?". Puerto Rico Report. November 23, 2018. https://www.puertoricoreport.com/how-does-a-territory-become-a-state/. 
  74. ^ a b "Texas v. White". Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York: Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/74/700. 
  75. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (May 27, 1998). "The Ellis Island Verdict: The Ruling; High Court Gives New Jersey Most of Ellis Island". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1998/05/27/nyregion/ellis-island-verdict-ruling-high-court-gives-new-jersey-most-ellis-island.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. 
  76. ^ United States Census Bureau, Geography Division. "Census Regions and Divisions of the United States". http://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/reference/us_regdiv.pdf. 
  77. ^ "The National Energy Modeling System: An Overview 2003" (Report #:DOE/EIA-0581, October 2009). United States Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
  78. ^ "The most widely used regional definitions follow those of the U.S. Bureau of the Census." Seymour Sudman and Norman M. Bradburn, Asking Questions: A Practical Guide to Questionnaire Design (1982). Jossey-Bass: p. 205.
  79. ^ "Perhaps the most widely used regional classification system is one developed by the U.S. Census Bureau." Dale M. Lewison, Retailing, Prentice Hall (1997): p. 384. ISBN 978-0-13-461427-4
  80. ^ "(M)ost demographic and food consumption data are presented in this four-region format." Pamela Goyan Kittler, Kathryn P. Sucher, Food and Culture, Cengage Learning (2008): p.475. ISBN 9780495115410

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Stein, Mark, How the States Got Their Shapes, New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-143138-8

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:USCensus Geography


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at U.S. state. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.