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  • The United States is, shockingly, a bunch of states that are united.

  • It was just 13 to start with,

  • but as time marched on, the border marked west,

  • bringing us to today and the 48 contiguous states plus Alaska and Hawaii.

  • They're usually drawn in these little boxes, not to to scale because Hawaii is in the middle of a

  • vast ocean of deadly nothing-ness, and Alaska is monstrous.

  • Unlike other unions, where members can leave if they so choose,

  • statehood is eternal.

  • Even for you, Texas.

  • Now, how the federal government works is a story for another time,

  • but at the moment, all you need know is that Congress, where national laws are written

  • is made of representatives who are sent from the states.

  • Now, there are some non-state gaps not visible on this map.

  • The first is Washington D.C., the nation's capital.

  • which is a stateless limbo land between Maryland and Virginia.

  • As D.C. is a city without a state, it puts her under the control of Congress.

  • Meaning all the other states get the final say on how D.C. is run,

  • while she doesn't get a vote in anything.

  • It didn't matter when the District of Columbia was basically uninhabited,

  • but since more people live in D.C. now than do in a couple of states

  • it's an uncomfortable arrangement.

  • The other gaps on this map are the American Indian reservations.

  • which are numerous.

  • The United States kind of administers them while sort of treating them as foreign nations

  • which means you could draw the state boundaries to look like this

  • because the reservations are kind of apart from those states.

  • But the American Indian reservations are such a full of asterisks

  • (O' so sensitive situation)

  • it's also better as a story for another time.

  • Gaps aside, the continent (and Hawaii) is mostly straight-forward.

  • But there's more than just these United States.

  • When the U.S. ran out of lands to manifest destiny,

  • she learned from the best and teritorified a whole bunch of islands.

  • First up: Puerto Rico - an organized, unincorporated territory

  • of the U.S. This means she's self-governing(to some extent)

  • and that all the U.S. constitution doesn't automatically apply

  • on the island. Now, 3.7 million people live in Puerto Rico

  • which is 91% of the people living on U.S. Territorial islands

  • and more people than live in 21 of the states.

  • And, the U.S. treats Puerto Rico as a state in almost all but name

  • which possibly soon she will be anyway

  • bringing the number of stars to a nice, even, 51?

  • But Puerto Rico isn't the only organized, unincorporated territory.

  • There's also Guam, which was acquired in the Spanish-American war,

  • along with Puerto Rico, there's the Northern Mariana Islands,

  • taken from Japan during World War II,

  • and the U.S. Virgin Islands taken from nobody -- Denmark sold her.

  • The people in these territories are American citizens.

  • In most ways, the territories are just like D.C.

  • Congress can override their local governments and they don't have

  • representation because no state-tation.

  • But otherwise, it's America.

  • Actually, the territories and D.C. do get to elect congressional representatives

  • who attend all of the meetings

  • but just can't vote in any of them.

  • which is either the worst job in the world or the best job in the world

  • depending on the kind of person who gets it.

  • Also, since votes for president are based on state population,

  • citizens in the territories can't vote.

  • Which as mentioned in a previous video leads to the weird situation that

  • Americans who live in foreign countries can vote for president in the

  • state where they last lived.

  • While Americans who live in America, just in a territory,

  • cannot.

  • Along with these unincorporated organized territories

  • there are also unincorporated unorganized territories.

  • Actually, quite a few.

  • They are Howland Island, Navassa Island,

  • Wake Island, Jarvis Island,

  • Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Reef,

  • Serranilla Bank and Bajo Nuevo Bank.

  • Most of these were acquired under the delightfully named Guano Islands Act

  • when the U.S. decided she wanted a bunch of islands filled with bird poop.

  • No, really, the U.S. just straight up wrote a law to declare those islands

  • were now hers.

  • Unorganized, in this system, means there's no local government on these islands

  • because no one lives in these places.

  • Some of them are barley above the water line.

  • Now, the weird category is unorganized incorporated territories

  • of which there is one: the Palmyra Atoll.

  • claimed by the U.S. after the totally peaceful annexation of Hawaii.

  • They're currently an uninhabited nature reserve.

  • But, incorporated means the U.S. constitution applies here.

  • To who? The Palmyra Atoll is like that question about a tree falling in the forest.

  • If there are no people for the constitution to apply to,

  • does the constitution still apply?

  • Yes.

  • This means if a foreigner gives birth on this uninhabited strip

  • and doesn't die from the nature,

  • their child would be an American citizen.

  • Now, this category is empty.

  • It's where territories go before they become states.

  • When basically the Constitution fully applies

  • and it was last occupied by Hawaii.

  • We've gone full circle but there is one territory we've left out --

  • American Samoa: home to 55,000 people.

  • Uniquely, American Samoans don't get to be citizens

  • but instead are American Nationals.

  • They can live in the states but can't vote in presidential elections

  • Unless they go through the immigration process like any foreigner.

  • Even though in all other ways, they're indistinguishable from citizens.

  • This is unique to American Samoa and there seems to be no reason for it

  • other than that Congress has gotten around to updating the system.

  • American Samoa is in the no-government category, like it's lord of the flies

  • over there, which it obviously isn't.

  • So American Samoa with it's organized government needs to go over here and

  • Puerto Rico, essentially a state, needs to go over here

  • and the empty Palmyra Atoll needs to go over here.

  • But, don't hold your breath for the paperwork to make it's way through Congress

  • any time soon.

  • So, that's all the territories of the United States, but there is one final

  • thing to talk about: three tiny nations -- Palu, the Marshall Islands and the

  • Federated States of Micronesia.

  • The last has a convenient domain name: .fm -- first choice of quality podcasts everywhere.

  • *hint, hint; click, click*

  • These are separate countries with UN seats and everything

  • but they have a "Compact of Free Association"

  • with the United States.

  • The deal is that the U.S. provide economic support and military defense to the

  • compact nations in return for being allowed to build military bases there.

  • Also, compact citizens can live and work in the United States and vice versa.

  • The Americans wanting to live abroad: you have three easy options.

  • So, that's America: 50 states, many reservations, one district,

  • lots of islands territories, some even with people and three tiny associated countries.

The United States is, shockingly, a bunch of states that are united.

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アメリカ帝国 (American Empire)

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    Bryan Pai に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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