Territorial Courts and the Law: Unifying Factors in the Development of American Legal Institutions-Pt.II-Influences Tending to Unify Territorial Law

With the exception of Kentucky, Vermont, Texas, California, and West Virginia, all parts of continental United States south and west of the present boundaries of the original states came under colonial rule, and were governed from the national capital through territorial governments for varying periods of time. All territories in this area were “incorporated” in the sense that they were destined to become states of the United States. All became states by 1912, leaving only Alaska and Hawaii for future statehood. Now that these territories have become states, it seems desirable to review legal developments in all of these “incorporated” territories and to consider the territorial law that served as a basis for state law. Existing “unincorporated” territories will not be ignored, but in general the approach will be historical- discussion of the past without reference to the present.