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List of U.S. states that were never U.S. territories


List of U.S. states that were never U.S. territories

Map of states that were never territories of the US

This is a list of 19 U.S. states that were never territories of the United States after its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1783. They are listed in the order they were admitted to the Union.

Order admitted State Status between European settlement and statehood
(sorted chronologically by admission to the union)
1 Delaware Original thirteen states, formerly thirteen of 21 British colonies in mainland and insular North America. They declared independence from Britain on 4 July 1776 and were formally thirteen independent countries until ratification of the first American constitution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, proposed in 1777, completed in 1781; whereupon the "United States of America" legally came into existence. The United States was subsequently re-confederated under a new constitution, the U.S. Constitution, which was proposed in 1787, ratified in 1788, and took effect on 4 March 1789. The eight colonies that remained loyal to Britain during the American Revolutionary War were: Quebec (then stretched westward to the Mississippi River and southwestward to the Ohio River), Newfoundland, Nova Scotia (then including Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and part of Maine), Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, East Florida, and West Florida (both Floridas eventually being sold back to Spain, from whom the United States purchased them in 1819).
2 Pennsylvania
3 New Jersey
4 Georgia
5 Connecticut
6 Massachusetts
7 Maryland
8 South Carolina
9 New Hampshire
10 Virginia
11 New York
12 North Carolina
13 Rhode Island
14 Vermont Republic of Vermont formed unilaterally in 1777 from territory formerly associated with New York and New Hampshire. The Vermont Constitution dates from 1777. On 10 January 1791, the Republic of Vermont ratified the U.S. Constitution—the only state apart from the original 13 to do so. Vermont was admitted to the union as the 14th state a few months later.
15 Kentucky Originally southwestern Virginia, Kentucky was distinguished from Virginia and granted statehood in 1792, pursuant to the relinquishment by all of the original states of their claims to land between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains.
23 Maine District of Maine, part of Massachusetts until 1820, when Massachusetts and the United States granted statehood to Maine. (Under the U.S. Constitution, the grant of statehood to a territory that lies within an existing state requires collateral permission of the other state, as well as permission of the Congress.)
28 Texas Most of Texas was part of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain (with some parts once part of the French Royal Province of Louisiana) until 1821, when New Spain became the independent United Mexican States. In 1836, Texas fought a revolution against the Mexican government, winning independence as the Republic of Texas. After nearly a decade as an independent republic, Texas (which was largely populated by white Americans) was annexed by the United States in 1845. As part of the Compromise of 1850, Texas was reduced to its present size, with the state government ceding land to the federal government in exchange for $10,000,000. That land now lies within New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.
31 California[1] Alta California was a province of New Spain until 1821, and then of Mexico until 1848. It became American under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. At that time, Alta California included all of contemporary Upper California, northern Arizona, all of Nevada and Utah, and part of southwestern Wyoming. California in its present size wrote a bilingual state constitution in 1849 and was granted statehood without going through the territorial phase in 1850. (See the Compromise of 1850.) In 1846, prior to formal declaration of the Mexican–American War, a small band of men originally from the United States proclaimed the independence of California—the so-called Bear Flag Republic—but this never became a formal entity, and lasted less than a month before the area came to be occupied by U.S. Army forces as part of the American conquest of northern Mexico in the Mexican–American War.
35 West Virginia When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Pro-Union counties seceded from Virginia; the Union members of the Virginia legislature approved this at Wheeling in 1861. Congress granted statehood to West Virginia in 1863.


  1. ^ "California becomes the 31st state in record time". The History Channel website.  

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