Apart from the 50 states, the United States is also made up of five major self-governing territories. These territories form sub-national divisions that are governed by the federal government. Guam is on the five territories, and thus, this territory is governed directly by the federal government. Guam is an incorporated state which means that it was joined with the US to be part of the main 50 states. Unlike the US states, Guam and the other territories have limited sovereignty.
Where Is Guam?
Guam is located in Micronesia in the western North Pacific. The island is part of the Mariana Islands archipelago along with the Northern Mariana Islands. This territory is subdivided into nineteen municipalities that are commonly referred to as villages. The capital city is Hagatna while the most populous city is Dedro. This territory is relatively small; this can also be reflected by the number of citizens occupying this region. In the 2018 census, Guam had an approximate population of 165,718 people. Despite the low population and size as compared to the main US states, Guam is the largest territory in Oceania. It lacks natural resources; its economy is, therefore, only supported by tourism and the Armed Forces.
Is Guam a Country?
Guam cannot be categorized as a country because it is under the federal government. It is governed as one of America's 50 states, however, with a few advantages. Guam is ruled by an elected governor and fifteen legislatures who play the role of senators. Guam is governed directly by the federal government just like the other states. Guam elects one delegate to represent the territory to the US House of Representatives. These delegates are just representatives of their regions and thus cannot take part in voting in the Full house, this shows that Guam has no major influence on the politics of the US.
Political Status of Guam
Despite being a US territory, Guam has always pushed to become an independent state. This push was more serious between 1980 and 1990 and during this period Guam demanded to be declared a commonwealth territory. This meant that Guam could become a self-governing state. Guam intended to become a self-governing territory similar to the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico. However, the terms presented by Guam were not in line with the Territorial Clause of the US Constitution. Therefore, the federal government rejected the proposal presented by Guam denying it rights of becoming a self-governing territory. The citizens of Guam could not understand why the US had denied them the right of becoming an independent state. The US formed a commission to help educate the inhabitants why is important for Guam to be under the protection of the US Federal Government. Guam never became an independent state.