Legislating for American Empire: Territorial Policy and the House Committee on Territories

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Abstract

This project takes a closer look at one of the major sources of congressional territorial policy, the House Committee on Territories. Using archival resources and historical records, the article analyzes the decisions and actions of this Committee, the Committee membership, and the specific issues it handled, from its creation in 1825 until the Spanish-American War in 1898. I find that the Committee played an important role within the territorial system. Decisions it made impacted the shape and size of states, the autonomy and flexibility of territorial governments, and the regulation of federal officials within the territories. It also acted as a centralized location for concerns from territorial residents. The actions of the Committee played a substantial role in the development of the American political system, because through obstruction or acquiescence its decisions impacted the nation's expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-174
Number of pages22
JournalCongress and the Presidency
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2020

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