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Related to Territory: Union Territory, Indian 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.


Territories of the United States.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The activities of a person whose home is in the territory described in Paragraph a.
The 1987 Constitution introduces a modified definition of the national territory with the deletion of the reference to territory claimed by legal or historic title.
Effective territory planning is essential to motivating performance.
United will acquire Consolidated's Tennessee and Alabama territory that is serviced from its Florence, Ala., sales center, along with Consolidated's Panama City, Fla., territory.
The Territory has budgeted for a deficit of AUD197 million or equal to 3.4% of revenues, for FY2015/16, compared to the lower AUD80 million or 1.5% of revenues projected last year for FY2015/16.
Since the provision says "at any time," this could happen at any time in the future, hanging like a Damocles Sword over the heads of local government units whose areas border the Bangsamoro territory.
The source added that the border guards opened fire toward the militants and prevented them from entering the Iraqi territory forcing them to return to the Syrian territories.
The earliest Northern Territory newspaper was the Moonta Herald, published on board the ship that brought the South Australian Surveyor-General, George Goyder, to the Territory in 1869.
We compared habitat characteristics within territories with characteristics at nonterritorial sites and at the larger landscape to investigate territory size and habitat use during the breeding season.
PNN On the Eve of International Population Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) released the following statistical review on the status of the Palestinian Population: The total Population of the Palestinian Territory at mid 2012 was about 4.29 million, 2.65 million in the West Bank and 1.64 million in Gaza Strip.