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The Constitutional Questions Incident to the Acquisition and Government by the United States of Island Territory, 12 Harvard Law Review 393 (1899)


One of the most important questions with which the Convention that framed the Constitution of the United States had to deal was that as to the disposition and government of the Western lands, with which the new nation was to be endowed. The Congress of the Confederation had undertaken to determine it for all time in 1784 and again in 1787, but by what authority? Let us turn to the "Federalist" for an answer. Madison there answers very plainly and very truly that they had none.

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