So a quip I made in the 1/6 fukkery thread, the thread on Rethugs trying to split Washington State in half, and a sprinkle of the Bali dyke fiasco kinda sent me down a weird rabbit hole concerning U.S. territories and their status. There are actually quite a few U.S. “territories” that are stuck in a weird colonial limbo. The ones which stuck out to me were/are: Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands Guam North Mariana Islands American Samoa Of course credit to wiki (List of states and territories of the United States - Wikipedia) for the list but these particular places were previously inhabited by native populations and passed through to U.S. possession either through spoils of war or purchase. Outside of racist views of the past about demographics and voting tendencies I don’t really see why these places aren’t states by now? From a right leaning perspective, it could provide new opportunities for development by adding new “tropical” type environments beyond Miami/South Florida. If Americans could move to these places like any other state it would bring an extra boost to a housing market that’s increasingly tapped out in other traditionally desirable housing markets. Would also provide much more fortified positions in regions of interest (PR-Latin America, V.I. - Anglophone Caribbean, Pacific Islands - Oceania, Australia, East Asia) which in the case of military would help deter the growing influence of China in the East or govts within the Caribbean/L.Am that lean towards American adversaries. From a left leaning perspective, the territories would get the full benefits of citizenship under the law including federal standards on issues like race and discrimination, voting rights, etc. It would also provide another Avenue to longer term dominance after the republicans did every cut throat thing in the books to maintain power. Also, making these territories a part of America would play well with the multicultural platform presented for America. Adding those territories as states would be another investment into diversity. To me, it just seems like an either or thing when it comes to this question, if you won’t give them statehood then cut them loose but if they’re important strategic possessions or territories that would be far too vulnerable to be independent after centuries of colonial rule then why not just do the right thing and give them statehood? I’m sure there are many things I haven’t considered or brought up so I’ll leave that to you all in HL. What’s your opinion on it? Edit: I decided to expand the question to include Free Association states (Compact of Free Association - Wikipedia) which were part of the old Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which was created by the UN and administered by the US Navy and later the Dept. of Interior roughly from the end of WWII until the mid 90s. These islands include: Republic of Marshall Islands Federated States of Micronesia Palau All are currently independent, but given this Free Association relationship and the fact that many of the commitments charged to the U.S. by the UN weren’t kept and have dragged them behind the developmental curve would it make more sense to just combine them with the other Pacific territories into one entity?