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The Constitution of EmpireTerritorial Expansion and American Legal History$
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Gary Lawson and Guy Seidman

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300102314

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300102314.001.0001

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War and Peace: Military Occupation and Governance

War and Peace: Military Occupation and Governance

(p.151) 6 War and Peace: Military Occupation and Governance
The Constitution of Empire

Gary Lawson

Guy Seidman

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses how the United States governs its occupied territories during war. During war, it is possible for the United States to occupy and govern a territory that will not be deemed unconstitutional. The occupied territory, in theory, is not an actual territory belonging to the United States, until the territory in question is formally transferred to the United States by a treaty after the war. Nevertheless, the United States has the power and duty to govern the occupied territory. Military occupation temporarily supersedes and suspends the political institutions that previously operated within the territory; conquered citizens owe temporary allegiance to the occupation government. The occupying force is duty bound to fulfil the governmental void left by the previous political institutions, and has the right to deny its enemy any form of support, be it material or otherwise, from the occupied area.

Keywords:   military occupation, political institution, war, occupied territory, United States, occupied territories

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