Wednesday, March 13, 2013

American governments

American governments must also pass theSecretarial Review of the Department of Interior through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

When the United States government formed, it replaced the British government as the other sovereignty coexisting in America with the American Indians.[20] Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery

The U.S. constitution specifically mentions American Indians three times. Article I, section 2, clause 3 and the fourteenth amendment section 2 address the handling of "Indians not taxed" in the apportionment of the seats of the House of Representatives according to population and in so doing suggest that Indians need notbe taxed. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery

In Article I section 8, clause 3, Congress is empowered to “regulate commerce with foreign nations…states…and with the Indian tribes.” Technically, Congress has no more power over Indian nations than it does over states and general congressional laws are not applicable to them. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery

In the 1970s Native American self-determination replaced Indian termination policy as the official United States policy towards Native Americans.[21] Self-determination promoted the ability of tribes to self-govern and make decisions concerning their people. It has been argued that American Indian matters should be handled through the United States Secretary of State, Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery

the official responsible for foreign policy. However, in dealing with Indian policy, a separate department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has been in place since 1824.

At the foundation of the constitutional status of tribes is the idea that tribes have an inherent right to govern themselves—the power is not delegated by congressional acts. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery

Congress can, however, limit tribal sovereignty. Unless a treaty or federal statute removes a power, however, the tribe is assumed to possess it.[22] Current federal policy in the United States recognizes this sovereignty and stresses the government-to-government relations between Washington, D.C. and the American Indian tribes.[23] Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery

 However, most Indian land is held in trust by the United States,[24] and federal law still regulates the political and economic rights of tribal governments. Tribal jurisdiction over persons and things within tribal borders are often at issue. While tribal criminal jurisdiction over Indians is reasonably well settled, Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery

Tribes are still striving to achieve criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian persons who commit crimes in Indian Country. This is mostly due to the Supreme Court's ruling in 1978 in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe that tribes lack the inherent authority to arrest, try and convict non-Indians who commit crimes on their lands (see below for additional discussion on this point.) Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery

The Oliphant decision remains "controversial because it signaled that project of imperialism is alive and well in Indian Country..."Another dispute over American Indian government is its sovereignty versus that of the states. The federal U.S. government has always been the government that makes treaties with Indian tribes - not the states. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states that “Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes”.[3] This determined that Indian tribes were separate from the federal or state governments and that the states did not have power to regulate commerce with the tribes, Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery

much less regulate the tribes. The states and tribal nations have clashed over many issues such as Indian gaming, fishing, and hunting. American Indians believed that they had treaties between their ancestors and the United States government, protecting their right to fish, while non-Indians believed the states were responsible for regulating commercial and sports fishing.Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery

In the case Menominee Tribe v. United States in 1968, it was ruled that “the establishment of a reservation by treaty, statute or agreement includes an implied right of Indians to hunt and fish on that reservation free of regulation by the state”.[27] States have tried to extend their power over the tribes in many other instances, Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery

but federal government ruling has continuously ruled in favor of tribal sovereignty. A seminal court case was Worchester v. Georgia. Chief Justice Marshall found that “England had treated the tribes as sovereign and negotiated treaties of alliance with them. The United States followed suit, thus continuing the practice of recognizing tribal sovereignty. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery

When the United States assumed the role of protector of the tribes, it neither denied nor destroyed their sovereignty.”[28] As determined in the Supreme Court case United States v. Nice (1916),[29] U.S. citizens are subject to all U.S. laws even if they also have tribal citizenship. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery

Federally recognized tribes are the Native American tribes legally recognized by the United States' Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

In the United States, the Indian tribe is a fundamental unit, and the constitution grants Congress the right to interact with tribes. More specifically, Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery

theSupreme Court of the United States in United States v. Sandoval, 231 U.S. 28 (1913), warned, "it is not... that Congress may bring a community or body of people within range of this power by arbitrarily calling them an Indian tribe, but only that in respect of distinctly Indian communities the questions whether, Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery

to what extent, and for what time they shall be recognized and dealt with as dependent tribes" (at 46).[1] Federal tribal recognition grants to tribes the right to certain benefits, and is largely controlled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

While trying to determine which groups were eligible for federal recognition in the 1970s, Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery

government officials became acutely aware of the need for consistent procedures. To illustrate, several federally unrecognized tribes encountered obstacles in bringing land claims; United States v. Washington (1974) was a court case that affirmed the fishing treaty rights of Washington tribes; Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery

and other tribes demanded that the U.S. government recognize aboriginal titles. All the above culminated in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, which legitimized tribal entities by legally restoring Native American self-determination. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery

In 1978 the BIA published final rules with procedures that groups had to meet to secure federal tribal acknowledgment. There are seven criteria. Four have proven troublesome for most groups to prove: long-standing historical community, outside identification as Indians, political authority, and descent from an historical tribe. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery

While Congress and the federal courts can confer federal recognition, these avenues have been increasingly difficult since 1978. Most tribes have to submit detailed petitions to the BIA's Office of Federal Acknowledgment (OFA). On average it takes over ten years for a review of their petitions. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery

In August 2012 the United States' Federal Register issued a supplement titled "Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs", which listed all 566 federally recognized tribes.[2] The website, the federal government's official web portal, Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery

also maintains a constantly updated list of tribal governments. Ancillary information present in former versions of this list but no longer contained in the current listing have been included here in italics print.

The Dawes Act of 1887 (also known as the General Allotment Act or the Dawes Severalty Act of 1887),[1][2] Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery

 adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians. Dawes Act was amended in 1891 and again in 1906 by the Burke Act.

The Act was named for its sponsor, Senator Henry Laurens Dawes of Massachusetts. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery

The stated objective of the Dawes Act was to stimulate assimilation of Indians into American society. Individual ownership of land was seen as an essential step. The act also provided that the government would purchase Indian land "excess" to that needed for allotment and open it up for settlement by non-Indians. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery

The Dawes Commission, set up under an Indian Office appropriation bill in 1893, was created, not to administer the Dawes Act, but to try to persuade the Five Civilized Tribes, which were excluded under the Dawes Act, to agree to an allotment plan. This commission registered the members of the Five Civilized Tribes on what became known as the Dawes Rolls. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery

The Curtis Act of 1908 completed the process of destroying tribal governments by abolishing tribal jurisdiction of Indian land.

After decades of seeing the disarray these acts caused, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration supported passage in 1934 of the US Indian Reorganization Act. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

It ended allotment and created a "New Deal" for Indians, including renewing their rights to reorganize and form their own governments.

During the 1850s, the United States federal government's attempt to exert control over the Native Americans reached an entirely new level of severity. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

With the arrival of a plentiful group of new European immigrant settlers reaching the eastern border on the territories, a place where multitudes of Native Americans tribes were situated, the government grew fearful of an “Indian problem,” as it believed that the two racial societies were unable to coexist within the same communities. Sony PCG-71213M Battery

Searching for a quick solution to their problem, William Medill the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, proposed establishing “colonies” or “reservations” that would be exclusively for the natives, similar to those which the natives had created for themselves in the east.[4] Sony PCG-71311M Battery

It was a form of removal whereby the US government would uproot the natives from their current locations to positions to areas in the region beyond the Mississippi River; this would enable settlement by European Americans in the Southeast in turn opening up new placement for the new white settlers and at the same time protecting them from the corrupt “evil” ways of the subordinate natives.[5] Sony PCG-71312M Battery

The new policy intended to concentrate the Native Americans in areas away from encroaching settlers, but it caused considerable suffering and many deaths. During the nineteenth century, Native American tribes resisted the imposition of the reservation system and engaged with the United States Army in what were called the Indian Wars in the West for decades. Sony PCG-71212M Battery

Finally defeated by the US military force and continuing waves of encroaching settlers, the tribes negotiated agreements to resettle on reservations.[6] The Native Americans ended up with a total of over 155 million acres (630,000 km2) of land ranging from arid deserts to prime agricultural land.[7] Sony PCG-71811M Battery

The Reservation system, though forced upon Native Americans, was a system that allotted each tribe a claim to their new lands, protection over their territories, and the right to govern themselves. With the Senate supposedly being able to intervene only through the negotiation of treaties, they adjusted their ways of life and tried to continue their traditions.[8] Sony PCG-71911M Battery

The traditional tribal organization, a defining characteristic of Native Americans as a social unit, became apparent to the non-native communities of the United States and created a mixed stir of emotions. The tribe was viewed as a highly cohesive group, led by a hereditary, chosen chief, who exercised power and influence among the members of the tribe by aging traditions.[9] Sony PCG-91211M Battery

The tribes were seen as strong, tight-knit societies led by powerhouse men who were opposed to any change that weakened their positions, and many white Americans feared them and sought reformation. The Indians' failure to adopt the “Euroamerican” lifestyle, which was the social norm in the United States at the time, Sony PCG-91111M Battery

was seen as both unacceptable and uncivilized. By the end of the 1880s, a general consensus seem to have been reached among many US stakeholders that the assimilation of Native Americans into white American culture was top priority; it was the time for them to leave behind their tribal landholding, reservations, traditions and ultimately their Indian identity.[10] Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery

On February 8, 1887, the Dawes Allotment Act was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland.The compulsory Act forced natives to succumb to their inevitable fate; they would undergo severe attempts to become “Euro-Americanized” as the government allotted their reservations with or without their consent. Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery

 Native Americans held very specific ideologies pertaining to their land, to them the land and earth were things to be valued and cared for, for they represented all things that produced and sustained life, it embodied their existence, identity and created an environment of belonging.[12] Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery

In opposition to their white counterparts, they did not see it from an economic standpoint. However it was believed that in order to ensure their survival the natives would have to succumb to embrace these beliefs and surrender to the forces of progression. They were to adopt the values of the dominant society and see land as real estate to be bought and developed; Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery

they were to learn how to use their land effectively in order to become prosperous farmers.[13] As they were inducted as citizens of the country they would shed their uncivilized discourses and ideologies, and exchange them for ones that allowed them to become industrious self-supporting citizens, and finally rid themselves of their “need” for government supervision. Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery

The important provisions of the Dawes Act [2] were: (1) A head of family would receive a grant of 160 acres (0.65 km2), a single person or orphan under 18 years of age would receive a grant of 80 acres (320,000 m2), and persons under the age of 18 would receive 40 acres (160,000 m2) each; Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery

 (2) the allotments would be held in trust by the U.S. Government for 25 years; (3) Eligible Indians had four years to select their land; afterwards the selection would be made for them by the Secretary of the Interior. [15]

Every member of the bands or tribes receiving a land allotment is subject to laws of the state or territory in which they reside. Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery

Every Indian who receives a land allotment "and has adopted the habits of civilized life" (lived separate and apart from the tribe) is bestowed with United States citizenship "without in any manner impairing or otherwise affecting the right of any such Indian to tribal or other property" [16] Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery

The Secretary of Interior could issue rules to assure equal distribution of water for irrigation among the tribes, and provided that "no other appropriation or grant of water by any riparian proprietor shall be authorized or permitted to the damage of any other riparian proprietor." Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery

The Burke Act[25] amended the sections of the Dawes Act dealing with US Citizenship (Section 6) and the mechanism for issuing allotments. The Secretary of Interior could force the Indian Allottee to accept title for land. US Citizenship was granted unconditionally upon receipt of land allotment (the individual did not need to move off the reservation to receive citizenship). Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery

Land allotted to Indians was taken out of Trust and subject to taxation. The Burke Act did not apply to any Indians in Indian Territory.

The Dawes Act had a negative effect on American Indians, as it ended their communal holding of property (with crop land often being privately owned by families or clans[26]) by which they had ensured that everyone had a home and a place in the tribe. Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery

The act "was the culmination of American attempts to destroy tribes and their governments and to open Indian lands to settlement by non-Indians and to development by railroads."[27] Land owned by Indians decreased from 138 million acres (560,000 km2) in 1887 to 48 million acres (190,000 km2) in 1934.[3] Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery

Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado was one of the most outspoken opponents of allotment. In 1881, he said that allotment was a policy "to despoil the Indians of their lands and to make them vagabonds on the face of the earth." Teller also said,

"the real aim [of allotment] was "to get at the Indian lands and open them up to settlement. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery

The provisions for the apparent benefit of the Indians are but the pretext to get at his lands and occupy them....If this were done in the name of Greed, it would be bad enough; but to do it in the name of infinitely worse."[28]

The amount of land in native hands rapidly depleted from some 150 million acres (610,000 km2) to a small 78 million acres (320,000 km2) by 1900. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery

The remainder of the land once allotted to appointed natives was declared surplus and sold to non-native settlers as well as railroad and other large corporations; other sections were converted into federal parks and military compounds.[29] The concern shifted from encouraging private native landownership to satisfying the white settlers' demand for larger portions of land. Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery

By dividing reservation lands into privately owned parcels, legislators hoped to complete the assimilation process by forcing Indians to adopt individual households, and strengthen the nuclear family and values of economic dependency strictly within this small household unit.[30] Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery

Given the conditions on the Great Plains, the land granted to most allottees was not sufficient for economic viability of farming. Division of land among heirs upon the allottees' deaths quickly led to land fractionalization. Most allotment land, which could be sold after a statutory period of 25 years, was eventually sold to non-Native buyers at bargain prices. Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery

Additionally, land deemed to be "surplus" beyond what was needed for allotment was opened to white settlers, though the profits from the sales of these lands were often invested in programs meant to aid the American Indians. Over the 47 years of the Act's life, Native Americans lost about 90 million acres (360,000 km²) of treaty land, Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery

or about two-thirds of the 1887 land base. About 90,000 Native Americans were made landless.[31]

In 1906 the Burke Act (also known as the forced patenting act) amended the GAA to give the Secretary of the Interior the power to issue allottees a patent infee simple to people classified ‘competent and capable.’ Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery

The criteria for this determination is unclear but meant that allottees deemed ‘competent’ by the Secretary of the Interior would have their land taken out of trust status, subject to taxation, and could be sold by the allottee. The allotted lands of Indians determined to be incompetent by the Secretary of the Interior were automatically leased out by the Federal Government.[32] The act reads: Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery

...the Secretary of the Interior may, in his discretion, and he is hereby authorized, whenever he shall be satisfied that any Indian allottee is competent and capable of managing his or her affairs at any time to cause to be issued to such allottee a patent in fee simple, and thereafter all restrictions as to sale, encumbrance, or taxation of said land shall be removed. Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery

The use of competence opens up the categorization, making it much more subjective and thus increasing the exclusionary power of the Secretary of Interior. Although this act gives power to the allottee to decide whether to keep or sell the land, provided the harsh economic reality of the time, lack of access to credit and markets, liquidation of Indian lands was almost inevitable. Sony VGN-P series Battery

It was known by the Department of Interior that virtually 95% of fee patented land would eventually be sold to whites.[33]The allotment policy depleted the land base, ending hunting as a means of subsistence. According to Victorian ideals, the men were forced into the fields (but the Indians thought this made them take on what in their society had traditionally been the woman's role, Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery

and the women were relegated to the domestic sphere.his Act imposed a patriarchal nuclear household onto many matrilineal Native societies, in which women had controlled property and descent.

Native gender roles and relations quickly changed with this policy, since communal living had shaped the social order of Native communities. Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery

Women were no longer the caretakers of the land and they were no longer valued in the public political sphere. Even in the home, the Native woman was dependent on her husband. Before allotment, women divorced easily and had important political and social status, as they were usually the center of their kin network. Under the Dawes Act, to receive the full 160 acres (0.65 km2), women had to be officially married.Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery

In 1926, Secretary of the Interior Hubert Work commissioned a study of federal administration of Indian policy and the condition of Indian people. Completed in 1936, The Problem of Indian Administration – commonly known as the Meriam Report after the study's director, Lewis Meriam – documented fraud and misappropriation by government agents. Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery

In particular, the Meriam Report found that the General Allotment Act had been used to illegally deprive Native Americans of their land rights.

After considerable debate, Congress terminated the allotment process under the Dawes Act by enacting the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 ("Wheeler-Howard Act").Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery

 However, the allotment process in Alaska, under the separate Alaska Native Allotment Act, continued until its revocation in 1993 by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

Despite termination of the allotment process in 1934, effects of the General Allotment Act continue into the present. Sony PCG-31211T Battery

For example, one provision of the Act was the establishment of a trust fund, administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to collect and distribute revenues from oil, mineral, timber, and grazing leases on Native American lands. The BIA's alleged improper management of the trust fund resulted in litigation, Sony PCG-31311T Battery

in particular the case Cobell v. Kempthorne(settled in 2009 for $3.4 billion), to force a proper accounting of revenues.

For nearly one hundred years, the consequences of federal Indian allotments have developed into the problem of fractionation. As original allottees die, their heirs receive equal, Sony PCG-51111T Battery

undivided interests in the allottees’ lands. In successive generations, smaller undivided interests descend to the next generation. Fractionated interests in individual Indian allotted land continue to expand exponentially with each new generation.

Today,[specify] there are approximately four million owner interests in the 10,000,000 acres (40,000 km2) of individually owned trust lands,Sony PCG-81111T Battery

situation the magnitude of which makes management of trust assets extremely difficult and costly. These four million interests could expand to 11 million interests by the year 2030 unless an aggressive approach to fractionation is are now single pieces of property with ownership interests that are less than 0.0000001% or 1/9 millionth of the whole interest, which has an estimated value of .004 cent. Sony PCG-81311T Battery

The economic consequences of fractionation are severe. Some recent appraisal studies[specify] suggest that when the number of owners of a tract of land reaches between ten and twenty, the value of that tract drops to zero. Highly fractionated land is for all practical purposes worthless. Sony VPCF138FC Battery

In addition, the fractionation of land and the resultant ballooning number of trust accounts quickly produced an administrative nightmare. Over the past 40 years, the area of trust land has grown by approximately 80,000 acres (320 km2) per year. Approximately 357 million dollars[s collected annually from all sources of trust asset management, Sony VPCF219FC Battery

including coal sales, timber harvesting, oil and gas leases and other rights-of-way and lease activity. No single fiduciary institution has ever managed as many trust accounts as the Department of the Interior has managed over the last century.[

Interior is involved in the management of 100,000 leases for individual Indians and tribes on trust land that encompasses approximately 56,000,000 acres (230,000 km2). Sony VPCS135EC Battery

Leasing, use permits, sale revenues, and interest of approximately $226 million per year are collected for approximately 230,000 individual Indian money (IIM) accounts, and about $530 million per year are collected for approximately 1,400 tribal accounts. Sony VPCS136EC Battery

In addition, the trust currently manages approximately $2.8 billion in tribal funds and $400 million in individual Indian funds.

Under current regulations, probates need to be conducted for every account with trust assets, even those with balances between one cent and one dollar. Sony VPCS138EC Battery

While the average cost for a probate process exceeds $3,000, even a streamlined, expedited process costing as little as $500 would require almost $10,000,000 to probate the $5,700 in these accounts.

Unlike most private trusts, the Federal Government bears the entire cost of administering the Indian trust. Sony VPCS139GC Battery

As a result, the usual incentives found in the commercial sector for reducing the number of small or inactive accounts do not apply to the Indian trust. Similarly, the United States has not adopted many of the tools that States and local government entities have for ensuring that unclaimed or abandoned property is returned to productive use within the local community.Sony VPCYA15EC Battery

Fractionation is not a new issue. In the 1920s the Brookings Institute conducted a major study of conditions of the American Indian and included data on the impacts of fractionation. This report, which became known as the Meriam Report, was issued in 1928. Its conclusions and recommendations formed the basis for land reform provisions that were included in what would become the IRA. Sony VPCYA16EC Battery

The original versions of the IRA included two key titles, one dealing with probate and the other with land consolidation. Because of opposition to many of these provisions in Indian Country, often by the major European-American ranchers and industry who leased land and other private interests, most were removed while Congress was considering the bill. Sony VPCYA25EC Battery

The final version of the IRA included only a few basic land reform and probate measures. Although Congress enabled major reforms in the structure of tribes through the IRA and stopped the allotment process, it did not meaningfully address fractionation as had been envisioned by John Collier, then Commissioner of Indian Affairs, or the Brookings Institute. Sony VPCYA26EC Battery

In 1922, the General Accounting Office (GAO) conducted an audit of 12 reservations to determine the severity of fractionation on those reservations. The GAO found that on the 12 reservations for which it compiled data, there were approximately 80,000 discrete owners but, Sony VPCYB15JC Battery

because of fractionation, there were over a million ownership records associated with those owners. The GAO also found that if the land were physically divided by the fractional interests, many of these interests would represent less than one square foot of ground. In early 2002, Sony VPCYA17GH/R Battery

the Department of the Interior attempted to replicate the audit methodology used by GAO and to update the GAO report data to assess the continued growth of fractionation; it found that it increased by more than 40% between 1992 and 2002.

As an example of continuing fractionation, consider a real tract identified in 1987 in Hodel v. Irving, 481 U.S. 704 (1987): Sony VPCCW2S8E/W Battery

Tract 1305 is 40 acres (160,000 m2) and produces $1,080 in income annually. It is valued at $8,000. It has 439 owners, one-third of whom receive less than $.05 in annual rent and two-thirds of whom receive less than $1. The largest interest holder receives $82.85 annually. Sony VPCCW2Z1E/B Battery

The common denominator used to compute fractional interests in the property is 3,394,923,840,000. The smallest heir receives $.01 every 177 years. If the tract were sold (assuming the 439 owners could agree) for its estimated $8,000 value, he would be entitled to $.000418. Sony VPCY11S1E Battery

The administrative costs of handling this tract are estimated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs at $17,560 annually. Today, this tract produces $2,000 in income annually and is valued at $22,000. It now has 505 owners but the common denominator used to compute fractional interests has grown to 220,670,049,600,000. Sony VPCY11S1E/S Battery

If the tract were sold (assuming the 505 owners could agree) for its estimated $22,000 value, the smallest heir would now be entitled to $.00001824. The administrative costs of handling this tract in 2003 are estimated by the BIA at $42,800.

Fractionation has become significantly worse. Sony VPCW1 Battery

As noted above, in some cases the land is so highly fractionated that it can never be made productive. With such small ownership interests, it is nearly impossible to obtain the level of consent necessary to lease the land. In addition, to manage highly fractionated parcels of land, the government spends more money probating estates, Sony VPCW1E8R/BU Battery

maintaining title records, leasing the land, and attempting to manage and distribute tiny amounts of income to individual owners than is received in income from the land. In many cases, the costs associated with managing these lands can be significantly more than the value of the underlying asset. Sony VPCY11AGJ Battery

Angie Debo's landmark work, And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes (completed 1936, published 1940), detailed how the allotment policy of the Dawes Act (as later extended to apply to the Five Civilized Tribes through such devices as the Dawes Commission and the Curtis Act of 1898) Sony VPCY11AHJ Battery

was systematically manipulated to deprive the Native Americans of their lands and resources.[34] In the words of historian Ellen Fitzpatrick, Debo's book "advanced a crushing analysis of the corruption, moral depravity, and criminal activity that underlay white administration and execution of the allotment policy." Sony VPCY11AVJ Battery

Political divisions of the United States describes the various subnational entities that together form the United States. The primary division is the state. The United States Federal and State governments operate within a system of parallelsovereignty, so states are not technically "divisions" created from the United States, Sony VPCY11M1E Battery

but rather units that, together with the federal district and other territories administered by the Federal government, compose the United States.

States are typically subdivided into counties. Louisiana uses the term parish and Alaska uses the term borough for what the Census terms county-equivalents in those states.

Counties and county equivalents may be further subdivided into townships. Towns in New York and New England are treated equivalent to townships by the United States Census Bureau. Sony VPCY11S1E Battery

Towns or townships are used as subdivisions of a county in 20 states, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.[1]

Population centers may be organized into incorporated cities, towns, villages, and other types of municipalities. Municipalities are typically subordinate to a county government, with some exceptions. Sony VPCY11V9E Battery

Certain cities, for example, have consolidated with their county government as consolidated city-counties. In Virginia, cities are completely independent from the county in which they would otherwise be a part. In some states, particularly New England, towns form the primary unit of local government below the state level, in some cases eliminating the need for county government entirely. Sony VPCY11V9E/S Battery

Outside of the states, other divisions include the federal district, insular areas administered by the Federal government, andAmerican Indian reservations. The Federal government also maintains exclusive jurisdiction over the military installations, and American embassies and consulates located in foreign countries. Sony VPCY219FJ/S Battery

Other special purpose divisions exist separate from those for general governance, examples of which include conservation districts and Congressional districts.

The primary political unit of the United States is the State. According to numerous decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the 50 individual states and the United States as a whole are each sovereign jurisdictions. Sony VPCY21AFJ Battery

The United States was formed when the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence from theBritish Empire in 1776, becoming the first 13 states. The 37 additional states were admitted to the Union by acts of the United States Congress, beginning withVermont in 1791 and ending with Hawaii in 1959. Sony VPCY21AGJ Battery

The United States Constitution establishes the authority of the Federal government of the United States and maintains the sovereignty of the individual states, limited only by either the powers that each state has specifically transferred to the federal government via the Constitution or the provisions of the state's own constitution, Sony VPCY21AHJ Battery

which typically sets certain parameters for the exercise of the state's sovereignty.

Most states decentralize the administration of their sovereign powers, typically in three tiers but always employing at least two tiers and sometimes more than three tiers. The first tier of decentralization is always the statewide tier, Sony VPCY21AVJ Battery

constituted of agencies that operate under direct control of the principal organs of state government—such as bureaus of vital statistics, and departments of motor vehicles or public health. The second tier is usually the county (called aborough in Alaska and a parish in Louisiana), which is an administrative division of the state. Sony VPCY21S1E/L Battery

It may also be more than that (e.g., a metropolitan municipality), but it is always an administrative division of the state. Connecticut is the exception to this second tier rule, having abolished county government in 1960. Some areas in Alaska outside of borough jurisdiction are designated simply as a census areas (unorganized boroughs). Sony VPCY21S1E/P Battery

Some states contain independent cities that are designated into separate counties. New York City, for example, consists of several counties (boroughs). The state of Virginia has 41 independent cities (see Political subdivisions of Virginia).

The states are divided into smaller administrative regions, Sony VPCY21S1E/SI Battery

called counties in all but two states—exceptions being Alaska (parts of the state are organized into subdivisions called boroughs; the rest of the state's territory that is not included in any borough, known collectively as the Unorganized Borough, is divided into "census areas"), and Louisiana (which is divided into county-equivalents that are called parishes). Sony VPCCW1E8R/WU Battery

There are also independent cities which are part of particular states but not part of any particular county or consolidated city-counties. Another type of organization is where the city and county are unified and function as an independent city. There are thirty-nine independent cities in Virginia and other independent cities that are not part of, or consolidated with, Sony VPCCW1S1E Battery

counties; these include Baltimore, Maryland, St. Louis, Missouri, and Carson City, Nevada. Counties can include a number of cities, towns, villages, or hamlets, or sometimes just a part of a city. Counties have varying degrees of political and legal significance, but they are always administrative divisions of the state. Sony VPCCW1S1R Battery

Some cities are consolidated with, and coterminous with, their counties, including Philadelphia, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Denver—that is to say, these counties consist in their entirety of a single municipality the government of which also operates as the county government. New York Cityis coterminous with five counties. Sony VPCCW1S1T Battery

For further detail, visit counties and county statistics of the United States. Counties in many states are further subdivided into townships—which, by definition, are administrative divisions of a county. In some states, such as Michigan, a township can file a charter with the state government, Sony VPCCW1S1T/R Battery

making itself into a "charter township", which is a type of mixed municipal and township status (giving the township some of the rights of a city without all of the responsibilities), much in the way a metropolitan municipality is a mixed municipality and county. Sony VPCCW1S1T/W Battery

The third tier commonly found in many states, especially the Midwest, is the township, which is an administrative division of a county. However the county subdivisions vary from state to state and can be either a type of Minor Civil Division (MCD) or a Census County Division (CCD).[4] In Alaska, borough subdivisions are designated as census subareas.[4] Sony VPCCW1Z4E Battery

 Arlington County, Virginia does not have any additional subdivisions (no MCD).[4] MCD may be an independent incorporated place (often city) or unincorporated territory (UT). The water area of Atlantic Ocean and Great Lakes outside of any land MCD is assigned to an MCD that is identified by a 000 code. Sony VPCCW12EN/BU Battery

Counties exist to provide general local support of state government activities, such as collection of property tax revenues (counties almost never have their own power to tax), but without providing most of the services one associates with municipalities. The township provides further localized services to the public in areas that are not part of a municipality. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E Battery

In some states, such as Michigan, state universities are constitutionally autonomous jurisdictions, possessed of a special status somewhat equivalent to that of metropolitan municipality. That is, as bodies corporate, they operate as though they were municipalities but their autonomy from most legislative and executive control makes them equally comparable to administrative divisions of the state, equal or superior to counties. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139N Battery

In some states, cities operate independently of townships. Some cities (and all cities in Virginia) operate outside of the jurisdiction of any county. Cities, which are sometimes called towns, differ from counties and townships in that they are not administrative divisions of the state. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery

Instead, they are semi-autonomous municipal corporations that are recognized by the state. In essence, the city as municipal corporation is the modern form of the ancient city-state, a sovereign entity that exists today only in the forms of Monaco, San Marino, Singapore, and the Vatican City. Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery

Township is an intermediate civic designation between city and county; cities sometimes cross county boundaries, townships never do. Some townships have governments and political power, others are simply geographic designations. Townships in the United States are generally the product of the Public Land Survey System. Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery

For more information, see survey township and civil township. Townships are subdivided into sections, which never have separate governments.

The terms townships and towns are closely related (in many historical documents the terms are used interchangeably). Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E Battery

However, the powers granted to towns or townships varies considerably from state to state. In New England, towns are a principal form of local government, providing many of the functions of counties in other states. Sony VAIO VGN-FW190E Battery

In California, by contrast, the pertinent statutes of the Government Code clarify that "town" is simply another word for "city", especially a general law city as distinct from a charter city. Sony VAIO VPCS11B7E Battery,Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery,Sony VAIO VPCS11M9R/B Battery

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