The Curious Case Of Statehood

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The Curious Case of Statehood: Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands With the admission of Alaska and Hawaii as states in 1959, the idea of non-contiguous and non-North American states became real. Nevertheless, even with their striking similarities Puerto Rico and U.S Virgin Islands have not been admitted to the union while Hawaii and Alaska have. This leads to the “the curious case of statehood”. What exactly makes territories viable for admission into the union? As a power directly giving by the U.S Constitution, Congress has the ultimate authority who and who does not become states of the union. However, even with the precedent set in 1960, Congress has failed to elevate the status of America’s Caribbean territories because it did not…show more content…
They are unique because they are remaining Caribbean holdovers from America’s Imperialistic actions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The last two admitted States to the Union were Alaska and Hawaii features many similarities to the aforementioned Caribbean territories. Historically, most US territories have gone on to become states. However, most of those were located in North America and were contiguous to the other states. As Puerto Rico was acquired first, a brief history would be given before the U.S Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico was originally a colony of Spain from 1493 to 1898. In 1898 after the completion of the Spanish American War, the treaty of Paris was sign. With terms favorable to the US, the treaty of Paris allowed the temporary control of Cuba, and ceded ownership of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippine Islands. Since its acquisition by the United States, the now Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has remained an “unincorporated territory” even when giving the status as commonwealth in 1952. An unincorporated territory in American law is an area controlled by the United States government where fundamental rights apply as a matter of law, but other constitutional rights are not available. The United States Virgin Islands has a more complicated colonial history Puerto Rico. As the United States Virgin Islands are made up of four major islands, each island has its own unique history. However the common thread in all the
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