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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. The ecclesiastics are said not to have territory, nor the power of arrest or removal, and are not unlike the Roman magistrates. 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.
The Constitution of the United States, Art. IV, provides, that "the congress shall have power to dispose of, and make all needful rules and regu-lations 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."
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, under which any part of it has been settled.