m (→‎List of states: fix the dates in the notes)
m (update from Wikipedia)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{Infobox subdivision type
 
{{Infobox subdivision type
| name= U.S. state
+
| name = U.S. state
  +
| alt_name = [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|Commonwealth]] (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia)
| alt_name=
 
| alt_name1=
+
| alt_name1 =
| alt_name2=
+
| alt_name2 =
| alt_name3=
+
| alt_name3 =
| alt_name4=
+
| alt_name4 =
| map= [[File:Blank US Map.svg|250px]]
+
| map = [[File:Blank US Map.svg|275px]]
| category= [[Federated state]]
+
| category = [[Federated state]]
| territory= [[United States]]
+
| territory = {{flag|United States of America}}
| upper_unit=
+
| upper_unit =
| start_date=
+
| start_date =
| start_date1=
+
| start_date1 =
| start_date2=
+
| start_date2 =
| start_date3=
+
| start_date3 =
| start_date4=
+
| start_date4 =
| legislation_begin=
+
| legislation_begin =
| legislation_begin1=
+
| legislation_begin1 =
| legislation_begin2=
+
| legislation_begin2 =
| legislation_begin3=
+
| legislation_begin3 =
| legislation_begin4=
+
| legislation_begin4 =
| legislation_end=
+
| legislation_end =
| legislation_end1=
+
| legislation_end1 =
| legislation_end2=
+
| legislation_end2 =
| legislation_end3=
+
| legislation_end3 =
| legislation_end4=
+
| legislation_end4 =
| end_date=
+
| end_date =
| end_date1=
+
| end_date1 =
| end_date2=
+
| end_date2 =
| end_date3=
+
| end_date3 =
| end_date4=
+
| end_date4 =
| current_number= 50
+
| current_number = 50
| number_date=
+
| number_date =
| type=
+
| type =
| type1=
+
| type1 =
| type2=
+
| type2 =
| type3=
+
| type3 =
| type4=
+
| type4 =
| status=
+
| status =
| status1=
+
| status1 =
| status2=
+
| status2 =
| status3=
+
| status3 =
| status4=
+
| status4 =
| exofficio=
+
| exofficio =
| exofficio1=
+
| exofficio1 =
| exofficio2=
+
| exofficio2 =
| exofficio3=
+
| exofficio3 =
| exofficio4=
+
| exofficio4 =
| population_range=
+
| population_range =
| area_range=
+
| area_range =
| government= [[State governments of the United States|State government]]
+
| government = [[State governments of the United States|State government]]
| government1=
+
| government1 =
| government2=
+
| government2 =
| government3=
+
| government3 =
| government4=
+
| government4 =
| subdivision=
+
| subdivision =
| subdivision1=
+
| subdivision1 =
| subdivision2=
+
| subdivision2 =
| subdivision3=
+
| subdivision3 =
| subdivision4=
+
| subdivision4 =
 
}}
 
}}
 
{{Administrative divisions of the United States}}
 
{{Administrative divisions of the United States}}
A '''U.S. state''' (abbreviation of '''United States state''') is any one of the 50 [[federated state]]s of the [[United States|United States of America]] that share [[sovereignty]] with the [[federal government of the United States|federal government]]. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of [[Domicile (law)|domicile]].<ref>See the [[Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution]].</ref> Four states use the official title of ''[[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|commonwealth]]'' rather than ''state''. [[State citizenship]] is flexible and no government approval is required to move between states (with the exception of convicts on [[parole]]).
 
   
  +
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''.
The [[United States Constitution]] allocates power between these two levels of government. By ratifying the Constitution, the people transferred certain [[Limited government|limited]] [[sovereign]] powers to the federal government from their states. Under the [[Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution|Tenth Amendment]], all powers not delegated to the U.S. 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 Constitution).
 
   
  +
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).
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 as well as the rights of individual persons.
 
   
  +
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]].
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 Constitution is silent on the question of whether states have the power to unilaterally leave, or secede from, the Union, but the 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, Ltd., 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 [[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.
==List of states==<!--Linked from [[Template:US states navbox with columns/doc]]-->
 
{{USA imagemap with state names}}
 
   
  +
==Map==
The following table lists each of the 50 states of the [[United States]] with the following information:
 
  +
{{USA midsize imagemap with state names}}
#The [[political divisions of the United States#States of the United States|state name]]
 
  +
<center>''Click on a state on the map to go to its main article''</center>
#The preferred pronunciation of the common state name as transcribed with the [[International Phonetic Alphabet]] (see [[Help:IPA for English]] for a key)
 
  +
==List of states==
#The [[United States Postal Service]] (USPS) two-character [[United States postal abbreviations|state abbreviation]]<ref name=USPSabbrev>{{cite web | url = http://www.usps.com/ncsc/lookups/abbreviations.html | title = Official USPS Abbreviations | publisher = [[United States Postal Service]] | year = 1998 | accessdate = 2007-02-26 }}</ref><br/>(also used as the [[International Organization for Standardization]] (ISO) Standard [[ISO 3166-2|3166-2]] [[ISO 3166-2:US|country subdivision code]])
 
#An image of the official [[flags of the U.S. states|state flag]]
+
{{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>
#The date the state [[List of U.S. states by date of statehood|ratified]] the [[United States Constitution]] or was admitted to the [[United States|Union]]
 
#The total land and water area of the state
 
#The [[2010 United States Census|United States Census 2010]] of state population as of April 1, 2010<ref name=PopCensusState>{{cite web|url=http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/pop_change.csv|title=POPULATION CHANGE DATA PROVIDED BY U.S. CENSUS 2010|publisher=[[United States Census Bureau]], Population Division|date={{dts|2010|12|21}}|accessdate={{dts|2010|12|21}}}}</ref>
 
#The [[List of capitals in the United States#State capitals|state capital]]
 
#The most populous [[incorporated place]] or [[Census Designated Place]] within the state as of July 1, 2008, as estimated by the [[U.S. Census Bureau]]<ref name=PopEstIP>{{cite web|url=http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/files/SUB-EST2008-IP.csv|title=Resident Population Estimates of Incorporated Places Only: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2008|format=[[comma-separated values|CSV]]|work=2008 Population Estimates|publisher=[[United States Census Bureau]], Population Division|date={{dts|2009|7|1}}|accessdate={{dts|2009|10|1}}}}</ref>
 
#Preceding entity of the state, in which it does not account for the [[Ordinance of Secession]] during the [[American Civil War]] of 13 states, 11 of which formed the [[Confederate States of America]], and the subsequent restoration of those states to representation in Congress (sometimes called "readmission") between 1866 and 1870, or the end of the [[reconstruction era of the United States]].
 
{{-}}
 
<!-- THE FOLLOWING TABLE CONTAINS DATA FROM THE UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU. DO NOT ALTER U.S. CENSUS DATA. -->
 
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="width:100%;"
 
|+<big>The 50 United States of America</big>
 
!Name
 
!class="unsortable" | IPA
 
!USPS
 
!class="unsortable" | Flag
 
!Statehood
 
!Area (sq mi)
 
!Population ({{as of|2010|alt=2010}})
 
!Capital
 
!Most populous city
 
!Preceding entity
 
|-
 
|[[Alabama]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌæləˈbæmə/}}
 
|align=center|AL
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Alabama.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1819|12|14}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|135,765|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|4,779,736
 
|[[Montgomery, Alabama|Montgomery]]
 
|[[Birmingham, Alabama|Birmingham]]
 
|[[Alabama Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Alaska]]
 
|{{IPA|/əˈlæskə/}}
 
|align=center|AK
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Alaska.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1959|1|03}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|1,717,854|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|710,231
 
|[[Juneau, Alaska|Juneau]]
 
|[[Anchorage, Alaska|Anchorage]]
 
|[[Alaska Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Arizona]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌær<s>ɪ</s>ˈzoʊnə/}}
 
|align=center|AZ
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Arizona.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1912|2|14}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|295,254|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|6,392,017
 
|[[Phoenix, Arizona|Phoenix]]
 
|[[Phoenix, Arizona|Phoenix]]
 
|[[Arizona Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Arkansas]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈɑrkənsɔː/}}
 
|align=center|AR
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Arkansas.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1836|6|15}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|137,002|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|2,915,918
 
|[[Little Rock, Arkansas|Little Rock]]
 
|[[Little Rock, Arkansas|Little Rock]]
 
|[[Arkansas Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[California]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌkæl<s>ɪ</s>ˈfɔrnjə/}}
 
|align=center|CA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of California.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1850|9|09}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|423,970|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|37,253,956
 
|[[Sacramento, California|Sacramento]]
 
|[[Los Angeles]]
 
|Directly admitted from [[Mexican Cession]]
 
|-
 
|[[Colorado]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌkɒləˈrædoʊ/}}
 
|align=center|CO
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Colorado.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1876|8|01}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|269,837|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|5,029,196
 
|[[Denver]]
 
|[[Denver]]
 
|[[Colorado Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Connecticut]]
 
|{{IPA|/kəˈnɛt<s>ɪ</s>kət/}}
 
|align=center|CT
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Connecticut.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|1|09}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|14,356|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|3,574,097
 
|[[Hartford, Connecticut|Hartford]]
 
|[[Bridgeport, Connecticut|Bridgeport]]<ref name=Hartford>The [[Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic Combined Statistical Area]] is the most populous metropolitan area in [[Connecticut]].</ref>
 
|[[Connecticut Colony]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Delaware]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈdɛləwɛər/}}
 
|align=center|DE
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Delaware.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1787|12|07}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|6,452|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|897,934
 
|[[Dover, Delaware|Dover]]
 
|[[Wilmington, Delaware|Wilmington]]
 
|[[Lower Counties on Delaware]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Florida]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈflɒr<s>ɪ</s>də/}}
 
|align=center|FL
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Florida.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1845|3|03}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|170,304|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|18,801,310
 
|[[Tallahassee, Florida|Tallahassee]]
 
|[[Jacksonville, Florida|Jacksonville]]<ref name=Miami>The [[South Florida metropolitan area|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area]] is the most populous metropolitan area in [[Florida]].</ref>
 
|[[Florida Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈdʒɔrdʒə/}}
 
|align=center|GA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|1|02}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|153,909|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|9,687,653
 
|[[Atlanta]]
 
|[[Atlanta]]
 
|[[Province of Georgia]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Hawaii]]
 
|{{IPA|/həˈwaɪ.iː/}}
 
|align=center|HI
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Hawaii.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1959|8|21}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|28,311|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,360,301
 
|[[Honolulu]]
 
|[[Honolulu]]
 
|[[Territory of Hawaii]]
 
|-
 
|[[Idaho]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈaɪdəhoʊ/}}
 
|align=center|ID
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Idaho.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1890|7|03}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|216,632|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,567,582
 
|[[Boise, Idaho|Boise]]
 
|[[Boise, Idaho|Boise]]
 
|[[Idaho Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Illinois]]
 
|{{IPA|/ɪl<s>ɪ</s>ˈnɔɪ/}}
 
|align=center|IL
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Illinois.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1818|12|03}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|141,998|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|12,830,632
 
|[[Springfield, Illinois|Springfield]]
 
|[[Chicago]]
 
|[[Illinois Territory]], formed from the [[Northwest Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Indiana]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌɪndiˈænə/}}
 
|align=center|IN
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Indiana.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1816|12|11}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|94,321|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|6,483,802
 
|[[Indianapolis]]
 
|[[Indianapolis]]
 
|[[Indiana Territory]], formed from the [[Northwest Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Iowa]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈaɪ.ɵwə/}}
 
|align=center|IA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Iowa.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1846|12|28}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|145,743|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|3,046,355
 
|[[Des Moines, Iowa|Des Moines]]
 
|[[Des Moines, Iowa|Des Moines]]
 
|[[Iowa Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Kansas]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈkænzəs/}}
 
|align=center|KS
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Kansas.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1861|1|29}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|213,096|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|2,853,118
 
|[[Topeka, Kansas|Topeka]]
 
|[[Wichita, Kansas|Wichita]]
 
|[[Kansas Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Kentucky]]<ref name=commonwealth>Officially called a '[[Commonwealth]]'.</ref>
 
|{{IPA|/k<s>ɪ</s>nˈtʌki/}}
 
|align=center|KY
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Kentucky.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1792|6|01}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|104,659|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|4,339,367
 
|[[Frankfort, Kentucky|Frankfort]]
 
|[[Louisville, Kentucky|Louisville]]
 
|Split off from [[Virginia]] with that state's consent. The former huge [[Kentucky County]]
 
|-
 
|[[Louisiana]]
 
|{{IPA|/luːˌiːziˈænə/}}
 
|align=center|LA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Louisiana.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1812|4|30}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|135,382|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|4,533,372
 
|[[Baton Rouge, Louisiana|Baton Rouge]]
 
|[[New Orleans]]
 
|[[Territory of Orleans]]
 
|-
 
|[[Maine]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈmeɪn/}}
 
|align=center|ME
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Maine.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1820|3|15}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|91,646|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,328,361
 
|[[Augusta, Maine|Augusta]]
 
|[[Portland, Maine|Portland]]
 
|Split off from [[Massachusetts]] with that state's consent (the former [[District of Maine]])
 
|-
 
|[[Maryland]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈmɛrələnd/}}
 
|align=center|MD
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Maryland.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|4|28}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|32,133|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|5,773,552
 
|[[Annapolis, Maryland|Annapolis]]
 
|[[Baltimore]]<ref name=Maryland>[[Baltimore|Baltimore City]] and the 12 [[Maryland]] [[county (United States)|counties]] of the [[Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area|Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia Combined Statistical Area]] form the most populous metropolitan region in Maryland.</ref>
 
|[[Province of Maryland]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Massachusetts]]<ref name=commonwealth/>
 
|{{IPA|/ˌmæsəˈtʃuːs<s>ɪ</s>ts/}}
 
|align=center|MA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Massachusetts.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|2|06}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|27,336|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|6,547,629
 
|[[Boston]]
 
|[[Boston]]
 
|[[Province of Massachusetts Bay]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Michigan]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈmɪʃ<s>ɪ</s>ɡən/}}
 
|align=center|MI
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Michigan.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1837|1|26}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|253,793|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|9,883,640
 
|[[Lansing, Michigan|Lansing]]
 
|[[Detroit]]
 
|[[Michigan Territory]], formed from the [[Northwest Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Minnesota]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌmɪn<s>ɪ</s>ˈsoʊtə/}}
 
|align=center|MN
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Minnesota.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1858|5|11}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|225,181|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|5,303,925
 
|[[Saint Paul, Minnesota|Saint Paul]]
 
|[[Minneapolis]]
 
|[[Minnesota Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Mississippi]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌmɪs<s>ɪ</s>ˈsɪpi/}}
 
|align=center|MS
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Mississippi.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1817|12|10}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|125,443|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|2,967,297
 
|[[Jackson, Mississippi|Jackson]]
 
|[[Jackson, Mississippi|Jackson]]
 
|[[Mississippi Territory]], formed from land donated to the U.S. by [[Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia]]
 
|-
 
|[[Missouri]]
 
|{{IPA|/m<s>ɪ</s>ˈzʊəri, m<s>ɪ</s>ˈzʊərə/}}
 
|align=center|MO
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Missouri.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1821|8|10}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|180,533|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|5,988,927
 
|[[Jefferson City, Missouri|Jefferson City]]
 
|[[Kansas City, Missouri|Kansas City]]<ref name=Saint_Louis>The [[St. Louis, Missouri|City of Saint Louis]] and the 8 [[Missouri]] [[county (United States)|counties]] of the [[Greater St. Louis|St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington Combined Statistical Area]] form the most populous metropolitan region in Missouri.</ref>
 
|[[Missouri Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Montana]]
 
|{{IPA|/mɒnˈtænə/}}
 
|align=center|MT
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Montana.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1889|11|08}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|381,156|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|989,415
 
|[[Helena, Montana|Helena]]
 
|[[Billings, Montana|Billings]]
 
|[[Montana Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Nebraska]]
 
|{{IPA|/nəˈbræskə/}}
 
|align=center|NE
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Nebraska.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1867|3|01}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|200,520|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,826,341
 
|[[Lincoln, Nebraska|Lincoln]]
 
|[[Omaha, Nebraska|Omaha]]
 
|[[Nebraska Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Nevada]]
 
|{{IPA|/nəˈvædə/}}
 
|align=center|NV
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Nevada.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1864|10|31}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|286,367|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|2,700,551
 
|[[Carson City, Nevada|Carson City]]
 
|[[Las Vegas, Nevada|Las Vegas]]
 
|[[Nevada Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[New Hampshire]]
 
|{{IPA|/nuː ˈhæmpʃər/}}
 
|align=center|NH
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of New Hampshire.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|6|21}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|24,217|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,316,470
 
|[[Concord, New Hampshire|Concord]]
 
|[[Manchester, New Hampshire|Manchester]]<ref name=Rockingham>The 5 southeastern [[New Hampshire]] [[county (United States)|counties]] of the [[Greater Boston|Boston-Worcester-Manchester Combined Statistical Area]] form the most populous metropolitan region in New Hampshire.</ref>
 
|[[Province of New Hampshire]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[New Jersey]]
 
|{{IPA|/nuː ˈdʒɜrzi/}}
 
|align=center|NJ
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of New Jersey.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1787|12|18}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|22,608|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|8,791,894
 
|[[Trenton, New Jersey|Trenton]]
 
|[[Newark, New Jersey|Newark]]<ref name=New_Jersey>The 13 northern [[New Jersey]] [[county (United States)|counties]] of the [[New York metropolitan area|New York-Newark-Bridgeport Combined Statistical Area]] form the most populous metropolitan region in New Jersey.</ref>
 
|[[Province of New Jersey]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[New Mexico]]
 
|{{IPA|/nuː ˈmɛks<s>ɪ</s>koʊ/}}
 
|align=center|NM
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of New Mexico.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1912|1|06}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|315,194|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|2,059,179
 
|[[Santa Fe, New Mexico|Santa Fe]]
 
|[[Albuquerque, New Mexico|Albuquerque]]
 
|[[New Mexico Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[New York]]
 
|{{IPA|/nuː ˈjɔrk/}}
 
|align=center|NY
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of New York.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|7|26}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|141,299|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|19,378,102
 
|[[Albany, New York|Albany]]
 
|[[New York City]]<ref>[[New York City]] is the [[List of United States cities by population|most populous city]] in the United States.</ref>
 
|[[Province of New York]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[North Carolina]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌnɔrθ kærəˈlaɪnə/}}
 
|align=center|NC
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of North Carolina.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1789|11|21}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|139,509|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|9,535,483
 
|[[Raleigh, North Carolina|Raleigh]]
 
|[[Charlotte, North Carolina|Charlotte]]
 
|[[Province of North Carolina]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[North Dakota]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌnɔrθ dəˈkoʊtə/}}
 
|align=center|ND
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of North Dakota.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1889|11|02}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|183,272|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|672,591
 
|[[Bismarck, North Dakota|Bismarck]]
 
|[[Fargo, North Dakota|Fargo]]
 
|[[Dakota Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Ohio]]
 
|{{IPA|/oʊˈhaɪ.oʊ/}}
 
|align=center|OH
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Ohio.svg|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1803|3|01}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|116,096|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|11,536,504
 
|[[Columbus, Ohio|Columbus]]
 
|[[Columbus, Ohio|Columbus]]<ref name=Cleveland>The [[Greater Cleveland|Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area]] is the most populous metropolitan area in [[Ohio]].</ref>
 
|[[Northwest Territory]], land donated to the U.S. by [[Pennsylvania]], [[Virginia]], and [[New York]]
 
|-
 
|[[Oklahoma]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌoʊkləˈhoʊmə/}}
 
|align=center|OK
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Oklahoma.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1907|11|16}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|181,195|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|3,751,351
 
|[[Oklahoma City]]
 
|[[Oklahoma City]]
 
|[[Oklahoma Territory]] and [[Indian Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Oregon]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈɒr<s>ɪ</s>ɡən/}}
 
|align=center|OR
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Oregon.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1859|2|14}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|255,026|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|3,831,074
 
|[[Salem, Oregon|Salem]]
 
|[[Portland, Oregon|Portland]]
 
|[[Oregon Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Pennsylvania]]<ref name=commonwealth/>
 
|{{IPA|/ˌpɛns<s>ɪ</s>lˈveɪnjə/}}
 
|align=center|PA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Pennsylvania.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1787|12|12}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|119,283|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|12,702,379
 
|[[Harrisburg, Pennsylvania|Harrisburg]]
 
|[[Philadelphia]]
 
|[[Province of Pennsylvania]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Rhode Island]]<ref>Full name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations</ref>
 
|{{IPA|/rɵd ˈaɪlənd/}}
 
|align=center|RI
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Rhode Island.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1790|5|29}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|3140|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,052,567
 
|[[Providence, Rhode Island|Providence]]
 
|[[Providence, Rhode Island|Providence]]
 
|[[Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations]], then sovereign state
 
|-
 
|[[South Carolina]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌsaʊθ kærəˈlaɪnə/}}
 
|align=center|SC
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of South Carolina.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|5|23}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|82,931|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|4,625,364
 
|[[Columbia, South Carolina|Columbia]]
 
|[[Columbia, South Carolina|Columbia]]<ref name=Greenville>The [[Upstate South Carolina|Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area]] is the most populous metropolitan area in [[South Carolina]].</ref>
 
|[[Province of South Carolina]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[South Dakota]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌsaʊθ dəˈkoʊtə/}}
 
|align=center|SD
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of South Dakota.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1889|11|02}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|199,905|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|814,180
 
|[[Pierre, South Dakota|Pierre]]
 
|[[Sioux Falls, South Dakota|Sioux Falls]]
 
|[[Dakota Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Tennessee]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌtɛn<s>ɪ</s>ˈsiː/}}
 
|align=center|TN
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Tennessee.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1796|6|01}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|109,247|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|6,346,105
 
|[[Nashville, Tennessee|Nashville]]
 
|[[Memphis, Tennessee|Memphis]]<ref name=Nashville>The [[Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area|Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Columbia Combined Statistical Area]] is the most populous metropolitan area in [[Tennessee]].</ref>
 
|Formed from western land donated to the U.S. by [[North Carolina]]
 
|-
 
|[[Texas]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈtɛksəs/}}
 
|align=center|TX
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Texas.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1845|12|29}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|696,241|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|25,145,561
 
|[[Austin, Texas|Austin]]
 
|[[Houston]]<ref name=Dallas>The [[Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex|Dallas-Fort Worth Combined Statistical Area]] is the most populous metropolitan area in [[Texas]].</ref>
 
|[[Republic of Texas]]
 
|-
 
|[[Utah]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈjuːtɔː/}}
 
|align=center|UT
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Utah.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1896|1|04}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|219,887|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|2,763,885
 
|[[Salt Lake City]]
 
|[[Salt Lake City]]
 
|[[Utah Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Vermont]]
 
|{{IPA|/vərˈmɒnt/}}
 
|align=center|VT
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Vermont.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1791|3|04}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|24,923|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|625,741
 
|[[Montpelier, Vermont|Montpelier]]
 
|[[Burlington, Vermont|Burlington]]
 
|[[Province of New York]] and [[New Hampshire Grants]] (ownership disputed); [[Vermont Republic]]
 
|-
 
|[[Virginia]]<ref name=commonwealth/>
 
|{{IPA|/vərˈdʒɪnjə/}}
 
|align=center|VA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Virginia.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1788|6|25}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|110,785|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|8,001,024
 
|[[Richmond, Virginia|Richmond]]
 
|[[Virginia Beach, Virginia|Virginia Beach]]<ref name=Virginia>The 10 [[Virginia]] [[county (United States)|counties]] and 6 [[independent cities#Virginia|Virginia cities]] of the [[Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area|Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia Combined Statistical Area]] form the most populous metropolitan region in Virginia.</ref>
 
|[[Colony of Virginia]], then sovereign state in Confederation
 
|-
 
|[[Washington (state)|Washington]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/}}
 
|align=center|WA
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Washington.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1889|11|11}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|184,827|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|6,724,540
 
|[[Olympia, Washington|Olympia]]
 
|[[Seattle]]
 
|[[Washington Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[West Virginia]]
 
|{{IPA|/ˌwɛst vərˈdʒɪnjə/}}
 
|align=center|WV
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of West Virginia.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1863|6|20}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|62,755|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|1,852,994
 
|[[Charleston, West Virginia|Charleston]]
 
|[[Charleston, West Virginia|Charleston]]
 
|Divided off from [[Virginia]] with the questionable consent of that state
 
|-
 
|[[Wisconsin]]
 
|{{IPA|/wɪsˈkɒns<s>ɪ</s>n/}}
 
|align=center|WI
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Wisconsin.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1848|5|29}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|169,639|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|5,686,986
 
|[[Madison, Wisconsin|Madison]]
 
|[[Milwaukee]]
 
|[[Wisconsin Territory]], formed from the [[Northwest Territory]]
 
|-
 
|[[Wyoming]]
 
|{{IPA|/waɪˈoʊmɪŋ/}}
 
|align=center|WY
 
|align=center|[[File:Flag of Wyoming.svg|border|54x36px]]
 
|{{dts|1890|7|10}}
 
|align=right|{{convert|253,348|km2|abbr=on|sortable=on|disp=flip}}
 
|align=right|563,626
 
|[[Cheyenne, Wyoming|Cheyenne]]
 
|[[Cheyenne, Wyoming|Cheyenne]]
 
|[[Wyoming Territory]]
 
|}
 
<!-- THE PRECEDING TABLE CONTAINS DATA FROM THE UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU. DO NOT ALTER U.S. CENSUS DATA. -->
 
   
 
==Federal power==
 
==Federal power==
  +
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}}
{{or|section|date=June 2011|reason=}}
 
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=9780521553070|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=9780816050864|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 cases like [[United States v. Lopez]] and [[United States v. Morrison]].{{Clarify|limiting the FEDERAL government, I presume. Shouldn't this say this?|date=June 2011}}
 
   
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, but also serves the interests of the states. By threatening to withhold [[United States Numbered Highways|federal highway]] funds, as upheld in [[South Dakota v. Dole]], 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 has upheld the practice as a permissible use of the Constitution's Spending Clause.{{citation needed|all quite true but really needs a cite someplace. Fairly dramatic and may be new to somebody|date=April 2011}}
+
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}}.
   
 
==Governments==
 
==Governments==
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 "a [[Republic]]an Form of Government". (This means that each State government must be a [[republic]]; it is ''not'' a reference to the [[Republican Party (United States)|Republican Party]], which was not founded until 1854&mdash;over 60 years after the Constitution was ratified.) 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.
+
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]].
   
  +
===Constitutions===
Despite the fact that every state has chosen to follow the Federal model of government, there are significant differences in some states.
 
  +
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.
   
  +
Despite the fact that every state has chosen to follow the federal model of government, there are significant differences in some states.
===Executive===
 
{{see also|Governor (United States)}}
 
While there is only one federal president, who then selects his own Cabinet responsible to him, most states have a "plural executive", in which various members of the [[executive (government)|executive branch]] are elected directly by the people. Thus, they serve as members of the executive branch who are not beholden to the governor and cannot be dismissed by him or her.
 
   
  +
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>
The governor may [[veto]] legislation. In forty four states, governors have [[Line-item veto in the United States|line item veto]] power.
 
   
===Legislative===
+
====Executive====
  +
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.
  +
  +
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====
 
{{see also|State legislature (United States)}}
 
{{see also|State legislature (United States)}}
 
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.
 
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.
   
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>
+
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 ''[[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. This is the standard commonly known as "[[one person, one vote]]". In practice, most states choose to elect legislators from single-member districts, each of which has approximately the same population. Some states, like Maryland and Vermont, divide the state into single- and multi-member districts, in which case a district electing two representatives must have approximately twice the population of a district electing just one ''and so on''.
+
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.
 
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}}
 
{{see also|State court (United States)|state supreme court}}
States can also organize their judicial systems differently from the [[United States federal courts|federal judiciary]], as long as they protect the 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 is notorious for its unusual 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. 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, which draws large parts of its legal system from French [[Civil law (legal system)|civil law]].
+
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.
   
  +
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]].
Also, just few states choose to have their judges on the state's courts serve for life terms. Most of the state judges, including the justices on the highest court in the state, are either elected or appointed for terms of a limited number of years, such as five years. They can often be then re-elected or reappointed if their performance has been 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, such as five years, eligible for re-election or reappointment if their performance is judged to be satisfactory.
   
 
==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, 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]].
+
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]].
   
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 them as "States", such as in [[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". Furthermore, [[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. However, each of the four above-mentioned "Commonwealths" counts as a State.
+
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.
   
 
==Admission into the union==
 
==Admission into the union==
  +
{{Ref improve section|date=January 2009}}
 
 
[[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]]
 
[[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]]
   
{{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|1950–}}]]
+
{{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}}]]
 
[[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)]]
 
[[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)]]
   
Since the establishment of the United States, the number of states has expanded from [[Thirteen Colonies|the original thirteen]] to fifty. 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.
+
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.
   
In practice, most of the states admitted to the union after the original thirteen 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>
+
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>
   
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.
+
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.
   
 
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:
 
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
+
* '''[[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
+
* '''[[Kentucky]]''', a part of Virginia until its admission in 1792<ref name=StatesShapes />
* '''[[Maine]]''', a part of Massachusetts until its admission in 1820 following the [[Missouri Compromise]]
+
* '''[[Maine]]''', a part of Massachusetts until its admission in 1820<ref name=StatesShapes /> following the [[Missouri Compromise]]
* '''[[Texas]]''', a recognized independent republic until its admission in 1845
+
* '''[[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
+
* '''[[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 Virginia that rejoined the union in 1863, after the 1861 secession of Virginia to the [[Confederate States of America]]
+
* '''[[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 />
   
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=9780842028011|pages=[http://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC&pg=PA82 82], [http://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC&pg=PA92 92]}}</ref> Once established, state borders have been largely stable. There have been exceptions, such as the cession by Maryland and Virginia of land to create the [[District of Columbia]] (Virginia's portion was later [[District of Columbia retrocession|returned]]) and the creation of states from other states, including the creation of Kentucky and West Virginia from Virginia, Maine from Massachusetts, and Tennessee from North Carolina.
+
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>
  +
  +
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>
   
 
===Possible new states===
 
===Possible new states===
Line 716: Line 150:
   
 
====Puerto Rico====
 
====Puerto Rico====
The most likely candidate for statehood might be [[Puerto Rico]]. Puerto Rico called itself the "Commonwealth of Puerto Rico" in the English version of its constitution, and as "Estado Libre Asociado" in the Spanish version. The island’s ultimate status has not been determined {{as of|2011|lc=on}}.
+
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|lc=on}}. A [[plebiscite]] will be held on November 6, 2012 to determine the future of the Island.
   
As with any non-state territory of the United States, its residents do not have voting representation in the United States 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>
+
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>
   
 
=====History=====
 
=====History=====
Line 732: Line 166:
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
   
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>
+
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>
   
 
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>
 
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>
Line 740: Line 174:
 
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"/>
 
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"/>
   
====Washington D.C.====
+
====Washington, D.C.====
 
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.
 
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.
   
Line 749: Line 183:
   
 
* 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 [[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
 
* 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.
 
** 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 Congress.
+
** 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.
 
** 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
 
* 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 (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]].
 
** [[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]].
* [[Superior (proposed state)|State of Superior]]
 
** 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.
 
 
* [[State of Deseret]]
 
** 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]].
 
   
 
==Secession==
 
==Secession==
Line 768: Line 199:
 
{{Main|Commonwealth (U.S. state)}}
 
{{Main|Commonwealth (U.S. state)}}
   
Four of the states bear the formal title of [[Commonwealth (U.S. state)|commonwealth]]: Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In these cases, this is merely a historically-based name and it has no legal effect. 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.
+
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.
  +
  +
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.
   
 
==Origin of states' names==
 
==Origin of states' names==
  +
[[File:US State Name Etymologies4.png|thumb|250px|Map showing the source languages of state names]]
State names speak to the circumstances of their creation. See the lists of [[list of U.S. state name etymologies|U.S. state name etymologies]] and [[lists of U.S. county name etymologies|U.S. county name etymologies]].
 
  +
{{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]].
  +
  +
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.
   
 
==Regional grouping==
 
==Regional grouping==
Line 783: Line 220:
 
[[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]].
 
[[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]].
   
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]]. 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.
+
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}}
 
{{clear}}
   
  +
==Census statistical areas==
==Lists==
 
{{United States Labelled Map|float=right}}
+
{{US Census Labelled Map|float=center}}
 
* [[List of capitals in the United States]]
 
* [[List of U.S. state constitutions]]
 
* [[List of state legislatures in the United States|List of U.S. state legislatures]]
 
* [[List of U.S. state name etymologies]]
 
* [[List of U.S. state residents names]]
 
* [[State tax levels in the United States|List of U.S. state tax levels]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by area]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by coastline]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by date of statehood]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by elevation]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by fertility rate]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by GDP (nominal)]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by GDP per capita (nominal)]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by income equality]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by population]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by population density]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by time zone]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by traditional abbreviation]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states by unemployment rate]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states that were never territories]]
 
* [[List of U.S. states' largest cities]]
 
* [[U.S. postal abbreviations]]
 
* [[U.S. state temperature extremes]]
 
* Codes: [[FIPS state code]], [[ISO 3166-2:US]]
 
* [[Lists of U.S. state insignia]]:
 
** [[List of U.S. state amphibians]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state beverages]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state birds]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state butterflies]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state colors]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state crustaceans]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state dances]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state demonyms]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state dinosaurs]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state fish]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state flags]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state flowers]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state foods]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state fossils]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state grasses]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state insects]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state instruments]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state license plates]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state mammals]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state minerals, rocks, stones and gemstones]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state mottos]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state nicknames]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state poems]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state Poet Laureates]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state reptiles]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state seals]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state shells]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state ships]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state slogans]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state soils]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state songs]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state sports]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state tartans]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state toys]]
 
** [[List of U.S. state trees]]
 
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
{{Portal|break=yes|United States}}
+
{{portal|United States}}
{{US Census Labelled Map|float=right}}
 
 
* [[50 State Quarters]]
 
* [[50 State Quarters]]
* [[51st state]]
 
 
* [[Extreme points of the United States]]
 
* [[Extreme points of the United States]]
* [[Geography of the United States]]
 
* [[List of fictional U.S. states]]
 
 
* [[List of regions of the United States]]
 
* [[List of regions of the United States]]
 
* [[List of U.S. counties that share names with U.S. states]]
 
* [[List of U.S. counties that share names with U.S. states]]
Line 864: Line 235:
 
* [[Political divisions of the United States]]
 
* [[Political divisions of the United States]]
 
* [[States' rights]]
 
* [[States' rights]]
* [[United States Constitution]]
 
* [[United States Declaration of Independence]]
 
** [[wikisource:United States Declaration of Independence|United States Declaration of Independence (text)]]
 
 
* [[United States territorial acquisitions]]
 
* [[United States territorial acquisitions]]
 
* [[Territorial evolution of the United States]]
 
* [[Territorial evolution of the United States]]
Line 872: Line 240:
 
* [[Territories of the United States]]
 
* [[Territories of the United States]]
 
* [[Comparison of U.S. state governments]]
 
* [[Comparison of U.S. state governments]]
{{Clear}}
+
{{clear}}
   
 
==References==
 
==References==
Line 878: Line 246:
   
 
==Further reading==
 
==Further reading==
* Stein, Mark, ''How the States Got Their Shapes'', New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2008. ISBN 9780061431388
+
* Stein, Mark, ''How the States Got Their Shapes'', New York : Smithsonian Books/Collins, 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-143138-8
   
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
Line 888: Line 256:
 
* [http://www.statemaster.com/index.php StateMaster&nbsp;– statistical database for US States.]
 
* [http://www.statemaster.com/index.php StateMaster&nbsp;– statistical database for US States.]
 
* [http://www.top50states.com/ U.S. States: Comparisons, rankings, demographics]
 
* [http://www.top50states.com/ U.S. States: Comparisons, rankings, demographics]
  +
{{clear}}
   
  +
{{United States political divisions|state=expanded}}
{{USPoliticalDivisions}}
 
 
{{United States topics}}
 
{{United States topics}}
 
{{Articles on first-level administrative divisions of North American countries}}
 
{{Articles on first-level administrative divisions of North American countries}}
Line 896: Line 265:
 
[[Category:States of the United States| ]]
 
[[Category:States of the United States| ]]
 
[[Category:Subdivisions of the United States|State]]
 
[[Category:Subdivisions of the United States|State]]
[[Category:Lists of country subdivisions|United States, States]]
 
 
[[Category:Country subdivisions of the Americas|United States 1]]
 
[[Category:Country subdivisions of the Americas|United States 1]]
 
[[Category:First-level administrative country subdivisions|States, United States]]
 
[[Category:First-level administrative country subdivisions|States, United States]]

Revision as of 22:38, 11 July 2012

U.S. state
Also known as Commonwealth (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia)
Category Federated state
Location  United States of America
Number 50
Government State government

A U.S. state is a federated state of the United States of America that shares its sovereignty with the 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.[1] State citizenship and residency are flexible and no government approval is required nor obtained to move between states, except by court order (e.g., for paroled convicts). States are further subdivided into 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 rather than State.

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 sovereign powers to the federal government. Under the Tenth Amendment, all powers not delegated to the federal government nor prohibited to the states are retained by the states or the 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).

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, 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.

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[2][3] secession to be unconstitutional, a position driven in part by the outcome of the American Civil War.

Map

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyomingDelawareMarylandNew HampshireNew JerseyMassachusettsConnecticutDistrict of ColumbiaWest VirginiaVermontRhode IslandMap of USA with state names 2.svg
About this image
Click on a state on the map to go to its main article

List of states


 Alabama
 Alaska
 Arizona
 Arkansas
 California
 Colorado
 Connecticut
 Delaware
 Florida
Georgia

 Hawaii
 Idaho
 Illinois
 Indiana
 Iowa
 Kansas
 Kentucky
 Louisiana
 Maine
 Maryland

 Massachusetts
 Michigan
 Minnesota
 Mississippi
 Missouri
 Montana
 Nebraska
 Nevada
 New Hampshire
 New Jersey

 New Mexico
 New York
 North Carolina
 North Dakota
 Ohio
 Oklahoma
 Oregon
 Pennsylvania
 Rhode Island
 South Carolina

 South Dakota
 Tennessee
 Texas
 Utah
 Vermont
 Virginia
 Washington
 West Virginia
 Wisconsin
 Wyoming

Federal power

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."[4] In Wickard v. Filburn 317 U.S. 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.[5] 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.

Another source of Congressional power is its spending power—the ability of Congress to impose uniform 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 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 483 U.S. 203 (1987).

Governments

States are free to organize their individual governments any way they like, so long as they conform to the sole requirement of the U.S. Constitution that they have "a Republican Form of Government," that is, each state government must be a republic.

Constitutions

In practice, each state has adopted a three-branch 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.

Despite the fact that every state has chosen to follow the federal model of government, there are significant differences in some states.

There are also significant similarities. For example, all 50 states allow tax exemptions for religious institutions.[6]

Executive

In all of the U.S. states, the chief executive is called the Governor. The governor may approve or veto bills passed by the state legislature. In forty-four states, governors have line item veto power.

Most states have a "plural executive" in which two or more members of the 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 attorney general is elected, rather than appointed, in 43 of the 50 U.S. states.

Legislative

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.

Most states have part-time legislatures, while six of the most populated states have full-time legislatures. However, several states with high population have short legislative sessions, including Texas and Florida.[7]

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

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 or Superior 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. 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.

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, such as five years, eligible for re-election or reappointment if their performance is judged to be satisfactory.

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 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 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.

Four states use the official name of Commonwealth, rather than State.[8] However, this is merely a paper distinction, and the U.S. Constitution uniformly refers to all of these subnational jurisdictions as "States" (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, 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.

Admission into the union

U.S. states by date of statehood

  1776–1790
  1791–1799
  1800–1819
  1820–1839
  1840–1859
  1860–1879
  1880–1899
  1900–1950
  1959

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)

Since the establishment of the United States in 1776, the number of states has expanded from 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.

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 (given a measure of 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).[9]

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 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.

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:

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.[11]

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 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.[10]

Possible new states

Today, there are several U.S. territories left that might potentially become new states.

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.

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, a nonvoting delegate.[12]

History

Puerto Rico has been under U.S. sovereignty for over a century. Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917.

The U.S. Congress directed the Puerto Rican government to organize a 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.[13]

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 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.[14]

The commonwealth's government has organized several 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."[15]

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.[15][16][17]

President Barack Obama appointed a new Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status.[18] 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.[19] 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."[19]

Washington, D.C.

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. The inhabitants of the District do not have full representation in Congress or a sovereign elected government (they were allotted presidential electors by the 23rd amendment, and have a non-voting delegate in Congress). 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. 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.

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."[20] 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.[21]

Unrecognized entities

See also: Historical regions of the United States
  • 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 State of Superior was a proposed state formed out of the 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 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 word for "honeybee" in the Book of Mormon. Its territory included most of what is now Utah and Nevada.
  • State of Jefferson
  • State of Lincoln
    • Lincoln is another state that has been proposed multiple times. It generally consists of the eastern portion of 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 is also the name of a failed state proposal after the U.S. Civil War in 1869. It consisted of the area south and west of Texas' Colorado River.

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. The federal government never recognized the secession of any of the rebellious states. Following the 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 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.[2][3]

Commonwealths

Four of the states bear the formal title of 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.

Somewhat confusingly, the U.S. territories of the Northern Marianas and Puerto Rico are also referred to as 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.

Origin of states' names

Map showing the source languages of state names

Twenty-four of the states' names originate from 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 Hawaiian Language.

Of the remaining names, 22 are from European languages: Seven from Latin (mainly 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.

Regional grouping

U.S. Census Bureau regions:
The West, The Midwest, The South and The Northeast.

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.

Borders

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.

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.

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.

Census statistical areas

United States Administrative Divisions unnumbered.png

U.S. Census Bureau statistical areas by state, district, or territory


AS
GU
MP
VI


See also

References

  1. ^ See the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  2. ^ a b Aleksandar Pavković, Peter Radan, Creating New States: Theory and Practice of Secession, p. 222, Ashgate Publishing, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1868) at Cornell University Law School Supreme Court collection.
  4. ^ 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. http://books.google.com/books?id=6sDXBGMbrWkC. 
  5. ^ David Shultz (2005). Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court. Infobase Publishing. p. 522. ISBN 978-0-8160-5086-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=I_f6Oo9H3YsC. 
  6. ^ http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/334/lindquist.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.reformcal.com/citleg_historical.pdf
  8. ^ a. Third Constitution of Kentucky (1850), Article 2, Section 1 ff. Other portions of the same Constitution refer to the "State of Kentucky"
    b. Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Preamble.
    c. Constitution of Pennsylvania, Preamble.
    d. Constitution of Virginia (1971), Article IV, Section 1.
  9. ^ 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...").
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Stein, Mark (2008). How the States Got Their Shapes. New York: Collins (HarperCollinsPublishers) [Smithsonian Books]. pp. xvi + 334. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/978006143195|978006143195]]. 
  11. ^ Richard Bruce Winders (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. http://books.google.com/books?id=mcc9EciebFYC. 
  12. ^ "Rules of the House of Representatives" (PDF). http://www.rules.house.gov/ruleprec/110th.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  13. ^ 48 U.S.C. § 737, Privileges and immunities.
  14. ^ "Political Status of Puerto Rico: Options for Congress". Congressional Research Service. http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL32933_20090804.pdf. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  15. ^ a b "''Report By the President's Task Force On Puerto Rico's Status (December 2007)''" (PDF). http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/documents/2007-report-by-the-president-task-force-on-puerto-rico-status.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  16. ^ "Report By the President's Task Force On Puerto Rico's Status (December 2005)" (PDF). http://charma.uprm.edu/~angel/Puerto_Rico/reporte_status.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  17. ^ H.R. 2499 – Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009 H.R. 2499
  18. ^ AMENDMENTS TO EXECUTIVE ORDERS 13183
  19. ^ a b REPORT BY THE PRESIDENT’S TASK FORCE ON PUERTO RICO’S STATUS March 2011, Page 23, Recommendation No. 1
  20. ^ "Article IV | LII / Legal Information Institute". Law.cornell.edu. http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleiv.html#section3. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  21. ^ "Texas Dividing into Five States". snopes.com. http://www.snopes.com/history/american/texas.asp. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 

Further reading

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

External links


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.