A territory is an area that an animal claims as its own and that it will defend against rivals. Competition for territory often comes from within an animal's own species. Territorial animals usually have a better chance at survival and reproduction than animals with no territory of their own.
Many animals that reproduce sexually exhibit a type of behavior that is called territorial. These animals will defend a certain territory or portion of their habitat against other individuals of their own species. Territoriality is often described as adaptive behavior. This means that being territorial somehow works to the advantage of the organism that engages in this behavior. Being territorial means being willing to defend a certain area by using threats or by engaging in actual fighting. Studies have shown that when an animal is successfully territorial (meaning that it is able to exert control over a certain area and keep all rivals out) it obtains many benefits, all of which have survival value. One of these benefits could be protection from other species that want to eat it. Other benefits might be plentiful food and safe breeding areas. A male animal that controls a certain area also demonstrates its dominance to females. These females may then want to mate with the territorial male.
An animal may choose a particular area as its place to defend for many reasons. Whatever the reasons, they all are based on the idea that the place contains resources vital to the animal's survival. Territories are usually smaller segments of a larger habitat, but some predators, like wolves, actually claim and defend several square miles of territory. On the other hand, a sea bird may be territorial only around its actual nesting site.
Territoriality can be permanent, as when an eagle returns to and will defend the same general area every nesting season. Prairie dogs remain in the same burrows all their lives and will drive away any others of its species. Territoriality can also be temporary, as when a bird abandons a certain shrub on which it has been feeding after the bush stops producing the food it needs. Possessing control means benefits to the territorial animal, but it also means that the animal must expend some resources to enforce that control.
IVAN PETROVICH PAVLOV
Russian physiologist (a person who studies how an organism and its body parts work or function normally) Ivan Pavlov (1849–1936) is best known for his systematic studies of the conditioning of dogs. His work on animal behavior and inborn reflexes revealed a great deal about animals' true nature. His work has also been applied to understanding human learning behavior.
Ivan Pavlov was born in Ryazan, in western Russia. Since his father was a priest, it was expected that he would become one too, and he was sent to study at a theological seminary. There, however, the young man somehow happened to read English naturalist Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, and he turned immediately toward the study of science. By the time he was twenty-one, he had transferred from the seminary and the study of religion to St. Petersburg University and the study of science. There he had the good fortune to study with two of Russia's best chemists, and in 1879 he received his medical degree from the St. Petersburg Military Medical Academy. Four years later he earned his Ph.D. For the next few years he studied and did more research in Germany, and by 1890 he had returned to St. Petersburg and become a professor of physiology there.
By then, Pavlov had already begun his surgical experiments on the physiology of digestion (how digestion actually works). He demonstrated this skill by actually disconnecting a dog's esophagus (the tube leading to its stomach) so that when the dog ate, the food would drop out and not enter the stomach. Since he found that the stomach produced gastric juice as if there were food being put in it, he suggested correctly that a message must have been sent from the brain by way of nerves to the digestive glands, which then secreted the gastric juices. This helped establish the importance of the autonomic nervous system, which is that part of the nervous system that controls an animal's involuntary actions. It was for this work on the physiology of digestion that Pavlov won the 1904 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine. He then went on to develop the idea of the conditioned reflex, the discovery for which he is most famous. Pavlov began this work studying an animal's natural reflexes, which could be described as the simplest form of instinct. Instinct is a behavior pattern that is inherited, or which is built into its nervous system. Instinct is thus handed down from one generation to another. It was Pavlov's goal to see if he could somehow change, or alter, in some way an animal's instincts. Noticing that a dog would naturally salivate, or drool, when it thought it was about to be fed, he rang a bell before giving it food. Soon the dog would salivate whenever Pavlov rang the bell, whether food was produced or not. With this, Pavlov had actually changed its natural reflex and developed in the dog what he called a learned, or a conditioned, reflex. This led to his theory that a good part of an animal's behavior patterns are actually the result of conditioned reflexes.
The notion of an animal's territory is a good example of instinctive behavior. In territorial species, or those that will defend a certain part of a habitat against intruders, this behavior is simply part of their genetic makeup. When a male bird selects a territory at the beginning of the breeding season, he does this because of the high concentration of sex hormones in his blood. Despite the fact that territoriality is an inborn trait for many species, Pavlov's work demonstrated that it, like most other instinctual behavior patterns, can be conditioned or modified. Pavlov's contribution of the notion of the conditioned reflex showed life scientists that an animal's reaction is not always purely instinctive but may also have been somehow learned through a sequence of associations.
The most important of these enforcing actions is called marking. Many animals use their own urine or feces to mark the perimeter (boundary) of their territory. Dogs and cats do this, although they will also "mark" another's territory temporarily as they are passing through it. Other marking systems includes howls and shrieks by monkeys and sea lions, calls and whistles by birds, and aggressive displays and warnings by certain animals if a rival gets too close. Bears are known to scratch deep gouges on certain trees as markers.
Although territoriality may sometime involve conflict or actual fighting, studies have shown that in the long run, it tends to reduce conflict within a species. Once territories are established and understood, most respect the boundaries of others and fighting actually diminishes. This might have something to do with another interesting fact. In most species, the "owner" of a certain territory almost always wins a fight with an intruder, often despite a difference in size. It has been shown that the same animal that acts timid and surrenders in a conflict located on neutral ground becomes an unbeatable fighter when it is defending its "home field." Scientists also say that individual humans are often territorial when they display a need for privacy or for personal space in crowded situations.
At the time of independence several states had extensive claims to territory on the western frontier. A dispute over whether such territories were to be administered by the claimant states or by and for the United States long delayed ratification of the articles of confederation. In 1780 Congress passed a resolution urging the states to cede their claims to the United States. The resolution contained three promises which became the basic principles of American constitutionalism as extended to the territories: that the territories would be "disposed of for the common benefit of the United States"; that they would be "settled and formed into distinct republican states"; and that they would eventually "become members of the federal union and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom, and independence as the other states." After the cession was complete and the western boundary was settled by the Treaty of Paris (1783), Congress embodied these three principles in measures for the temporary government of the territories: the ordinance of 1784 and the northwest ordinance of 1787. The same principles were reaffirmed by the constitutional convention of 1787. Although some delegates advocated maintaining the western lands as a federal colony to be exploited and governed permanently by the existing states, the Constitution provided for the admission of new states on an equal basis with the original states.
The first acquisition of territory beyond the original borders of the nation was the louisiana purchase. After brief debate about the constitutional propriety of such territorial expansion, Congress proceeded to organize the Louisiana Territory following the model of the Northwest Ordinance. Exploration, purchase, and cession, as well as the conquests of the Mexican War, resulted in further territorial expansion.
Congress's power to make rules and regulations for the territories derives from the second clause of Article IV, section 3. In the first important case on territories to be decided by the Supreme Court, american insurance company v. canter (1828), Chief Justice john marshall suggested that the power to govern the territories was also implied in the power to acquire them through the use of the treaty power or the war powers. He added that, whatever its source, Congress's power over the territories was plenary, whether exercised directly or through a local legislature, and extended even to creation of territorial courts with jurisdiction beyond the judicial power of the United States.
In the early nineteenth century the question of slavery in the territories divided the country and sparked new controversy over the constitutional status of territories. Southerners maintained that the federal government held the territories in trust for the states and that Congress could not properly prohibit slavery in them, while northern Whigs such as abraham lincoln maintained that the territories were national possessions and failure to prohibit slavery in them would constitute a national endorsement of the institution. stephen a. douglas proposed to avoid the issue by leaving it to a vote of the settlers in each territory. Congress sought to allay sectional contention in the missouri compromise by permitting slavery in one part of the Louisiana Purchase while prohibiting it in the rest. In the compromise of 1850, Douglas's formula (which he called popular sovereignty) was adopted for the territory acquired in the Mexican War (except California). In dred scott v. sandford (1857) the Supreme Court held that Congress did not have the power to exclude slavery from the territories. The civil war, by eliminating the slavery issue, ended the sectional dispute over the status of territories.
By 1869 American territorial acquisition on the mainland of North America was complete. A new debate about the status of territories began when, at the end of the nineteenth century, the United States started to acquire overseas possessions, not a part of the continent and apparently not destined for statehood. The place of this "colonial empire" in the constitutional system was a subject of political dispute in the 1900 elections; but it was not resolved until the Supreme Court decided the insular cases. In these cases the Court formulated the doctrine of incorporation of territories, according to which territorial possessions do not become part of the United States until Congress, by some positive action, makes them so.
Territories may be either incorporated or unincorporated, and either organized or unorganized. The former refers to the degree of constitutional protection enjoyed by inhabitants and to Congress's ultimate intention to confer statehood or not; the latter refers to the provision Congress has made for government of the territory. There are now no incorporated territories, but there are both organized and unorganized unincorporated territories. In 1934 the special status of "commonwealth" was created for the Philippines, which became independent after world war ii; puerto rico and the Northern Marianas currently have commonwealth status and enjoy virtually complete internal self-government. After World War II the United States accepted a mandate over the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Authority over that territory was exercised by virtue of the united nations charter until the trusteeship ended in 1981.
Dennis J. Mahoney
Bloom, John Porter, ed. 1973 The American Territorial System. Athens: Ohio University Press.
Liebowitz, A.H. 1979 United States Federalism: States and Territories. American University Law Review 28:449–482.
Perkins, Whitney T. 1962 Denial of Empire. Leyden, Netherlands: A. W. Sythoff.
ter·ri·to·ry / ˈterəˌtôrē/ • n. (pl. -ries) 1. an area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler or state: the government was prepared to give up the nuclear weapons on its territory | sorties into enemy territory. ∎ Zool. an area defended by an animal or group of animals against others of the same sex or species.Compare with home range. ∎ an area defended by a team or player in a game or sport. ∎ an area in which one has certain rights or for which one has responsibility with regard to a particular type of activity: a sales rep for a large territory. ∎ fig. an area of knowledge, activity, or experience: the contentious territory of clinical standards the way she felt now—she was in unknown territory. ∎ land with a specified characteristic: woodland territory. 2. (Territory) (esp. in the U.S., Canada, or Australia) an organized division of a country that is not yet admitted to the full rights of a state. PHRASES: go (or come) with the territory be an unavoidable result of a particular situation.
A part of a country separated from the rest and subject to a particular jurisdiction.
The term territory has various meanings in different contexts. Generally, the term refers to a particular or indeterminate geographical area. In a legal context, territory usually denotes a geographical area that has been acquired by a particular country but has not been recognized as a full participant in that country's affairs. In the United States, Guam is one example of a territory. Though it is considered a part of the United States and is governed by the U.S. Congress, Guam does not have full rights of statehood, such as full representation in Congress or full coverage under the U.S. Constitution.
The term territory is also used in the law to describe an assigned area of responsibility. A salesperson, for example, may work in a certain area. A salesperson's territory may be legally significant in a contract case. Assume that Sally has agreed to sell widgets on commission in a specific territory on the condition that no other seller from the widget supplier will do business in that territory. If the supplier arranges for another seller to encroach on Sally's territory, Sally may take legal action against the supplier.
So territorial XVIII. — late L.