Sovereign Claims and Possessions – The Beginnings of the Territorial State

Douglas Howland


Royal claims from the age of exploration persisted into the 19th century, when they began to be replaced by claims to territory on the part of States. Sovereignty over territory was increasingly phrased in terms of “jurisdiction” and, as the State became a territorial entity, an equivalence was posed between “territorial sovereignty” and “territorial jurisdiction.” Boundary disputes in the 19th century provide evidence for the transition, and these were invited largely by conflicts over commercial prerogatives in one or another place. Three territorial practices in the 19th century identify the beginnings of the territorial orientation of the State: effective occupation, boundary differentiation, and administrative jurisdiction.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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