In the context of the American Civil War, I stumbled upon the so called territories controlled by the federal government. This map for example makes the distinction between them and the union free states:

enter image description here

What is the difference? I'm interested to know their political state and their role throughout the war.

  • Why the downvote? – user1785730 May 8 '17 at 14:42
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    Not my downvote, but if you hold your cursor over the downvote key, it explains the reason for most downvotes. In this case probably due to lack of research. Note all of the links in the answer you accepted are from wikipedia, which usually indicates a lack of any background research on the part of the questioner. A question which can be answered by a quick google to a wikipedia page usually gets closed here as trivial. – justCal May 8 '17 at 16:12
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    It also sometimes helps a bit to use proper hyperlinks and images, rather than just throwing a raw web address into your post. Little things like grammar, capitalization and spelling make a surprising difference too. I've taken the liberty of cleaning this up for you. – T.E.D. May 8 '17 at 18:43
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    Actually, most of the information from my answer is contained in your link, I basically just looked up the terms. – DevSolar May 9 '17 at 6:14
  • It was my misunderstanding, that territories were something specifically regarding to the American Civil War. For that reason, I didn't find an answer in my own research. And I do think that this question could be helpful to other people also not familiar with American history. – user1785730 Sep 29 '17 at 8:39

Those territories were, at the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865), organized incorporated territories.

They were governed by the federal government directly, "with a measure of self-rule", but without the full "state" status, and as such not among the United States of America.

The Territory of Hawaii, for example, had this status from 1898 till 1959...

During the Civil War, some territories were controlled by the Union, while Confederate Arizona and the Indian Territory were claimed by the CSA.

  • How does the current status of Puerto Rico differ from that of the organized unincorporated territories of the early 1860's? – Pieter Geerkens May 8 '17 at 20:02
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    @PieterGeerkens: Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory, i.e. not (fully) a part of the US, and not all parts of the US constitution do automatically apply. A status Puerto Rico shares with American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. – DevSolar May 8 '17 at 20:09

Apart from the 11 green States which seceded to form the Confederacy, there are three types of areas shaded pink or salmon:

  • Union Free States: States which (a) had not seceded from the Union and (b) prohibited slavery
  • Union Slave Holding States: (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware) States which (a) had not seceded from the Union and (b) permitted slavery, and as a result these were not covered by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, two of which (with West Virginia) later prohibited slavery locally and two which were affected by the Thirteenth Amendment
  • Territories controlled by the Federal Government: areas which were not yet States and so could not participate in Federal Presidential and Congressional elections). As shown by a thin green line, not all of these were physically controlled at all stages by the Union government, notably the Indian Territory (largely the later State of Oklahoma) and the southern New Mexico Territory (called the Arizona Territory by the Confederacy, becoming parts of the later States of Arizona and New Mexico)

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