While many might disagree I would argue that the USA currently has too many protectorates for its long term health as a nation-state. A term largely out of usage and favor I still like it.
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In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship. However, it retains formal sovereignty, and remains a state under international law. A territory subject to this type of arrangement is also known as a protected state.
A second meaning came about as a result of European colonial expansion in the nineteenth century. Many colonized territories (mentioned on this page) came to be referred to as “colonial protectorates”, but were not regarded as separate states under international law. Entities referred to as “international protectorates” can become so subordinated to the protecting power that in effect they lose their independent statehood, though there are exceptions.
- 1 Rationale
- 2 Belgian
- 3 British and Commonwealth protectorates
One protectorate the USA should eliminate from its list is Taiwan which in 1972 Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger agreed was part of ONE China. Other should also be up for consideration.