territory


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to territory: Union Territory, Indian Territory

Territory

A part of a country separated from the rest and subject to a particular jurisdiction.

The term territory has various meanings in different contexts. Generally, the term refers to a particular or indeterminate geographical area. In a legal context, territory usually denotes a geographical area that has been acquired by a particular country but has not been recognized as a full participant in that country's affairs. In the United States, Guam is one example of a territory. Though it is considered a part of the United States and is governed by the U.S. Congress, Guam does not have full rights of statehood, such as full representation in Congress or full coverage under the U.S. Constitution.

The term territory is also used in the law to describe an assigned area of responsibility. A salesperson, for example, may work in a certain area. A salesperson's territory may be legally significant in a contract case. Assume that Sally has agreed to sell widgets on commission in a specific territory on the condition that no other seller from the widget supplier will do business in that territory. If the supplier arranges for another seller to encroach on Sally's territory, Sally may take legal action against the supplier.

Cross-references

Territories of the United States.

territory

noun ager, area, beat, circuit, clime, demesne, district, division, domain, dominion, environs, expanse, field, land, latitude, locale, place, precinct, province, quarter, realm, regio, region, scene, section, terrain, tract, zone
See also: area, bailiwick, capacity, circuit, district, domain, dominion, estate, freehold, jurisdiction, land, locality, location, parcel, possessions, property, province, purview, realm, region, scope, section, site, space, sphere, venue, vicinity, zone

TERRITORY. Apart of a country, separated from the rest, and subject to a particular jurisdiction. The word is derived from terreo, and is so called because the magistrate within his jurisdiction has the power of inspiring a salutary fear. Dictum cat ab eo quod magistratus intra fines ejus terrendi jus habet. Henrion de Pansy, Auth. Judiciare, 98. In speaking of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions, Francis Duaren observes, that the ecclesiastics are said not to have territory, nor the power of arrest or removal, and are not unlike the Roman magistrates of whom Gellius says vocationem habebant non prehensionem. De Sacris Eccl. Minist. lib. 1, cap. 4. In the sense it is used in the constitution of the United States, it signifies a portion of the country subject to and belonging to the United States, which is not within the boundary of any of them.
     2. The constitution of the United States, art. 4, s. 3, provides, that "the congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property of the United States; and nothing in this constitution shall be construed, so as to preclude the claims of the United States or of any state."
     3. Congress possesses the power to erect territorial governments within the territory of the United States; the power of congress over such territory is exclusive and universal, and their legislation is subject to no control, unless in the case of ceded territory, as far as it may be affected by stipulations in the cessions, or by the ordinance of 1787, 3 Story's L. U. S. 2073, under which any part of it has been settled. Story on the Const. Sec. 1322; Rawle on the Const: 237; 1 Kent's Com. 243, 359; 1 Pet. S. C. Rep. 511, 542, 517.
     4. The only organized territories of the United States are Oregon, Minnesota, New Mexico and Utah. Vide Courts of the United States.

References in classic literature ?
But my Chief was smoking 'em out of the North all that season, and they were bolting into French territory any road they could find.
You see, he had slaved and exposed slaves for sale in British territory.
This which I speak of, hath been nowhere better seen, than by comparing of England and France; whereof England, though far less in territory and population, hath been (nevertheless) an overmatch; in regard the middle people of England make good soldiers, which the peasants of France do not.
Our sovereign alone has protested against the seizure of the Duke of Oldenburg's territory, and even.
It's not any territory in particular," Evelyn explained.
Now that we were ready to set out again we decided to follow a different route on the chance that it might lead us into more familiar territory.
What good is territory to Germany, territory over which she must rule by force, struggling always against the accumulated hatred of years?
They were expanding, and in the course of their expanding they drove the Folk before them, and settled down themselves in the caves and occupied the territory that we had occupied.
There lay a vast territory, and in that territory were the hugest deposits in the world of iron and coal--the backbone of industrial civilization.
Texas plumed itself upon its 330,000 natives; Florida, with a far smaller territory, boasted of being much more densely populated with 56,000.
But it may be urged that when several closely-allied species inhabit the same territory we surely ought to find at the present time many transitional forms.
There is much reason to believe, that the territory which now composes Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and a large portion of the country west of the Mississippi, lay formerly under water.