Township (United States)

Townships are small territorial units in the United States. A distinction is made between the fields of surveying and political importance. They are not to be confused with the set up during apartheid in South Africa local townships.

Surveying importance

Starting with squares ( " Sections "), which are one square mile in size, townships were formed, consisting of 36 sections ( six by six miles). The very first townships in a small part of Ohio were only five miles by five miles; they come from the time shortly before the adoption of the land Ordinance of 1785, which applied to the remaining area of the Northwest Territory. To fund the public school systems, Ordinance was enacted in the country that the sale proceeds of the Section 16 of each township (36 sections ) went in favor of the schools.

Official corridor designations are made by, starting called from a specific " meridian " North- South line, and the "baseline " said East-West line, the number of townships is counted, then a section number is given and of which half or quarter parts are mentioned. Example: " W 1/ 2 NW 1/4 page 5 T 2S R 3W " of a particular meridian refers to the western half of the northwest quarter of Section 5 of the 2 townships south of the baseline and the third west of the meridian.

This " Congressional Survey System " or " Ordinance Survey" ( named after the "Land Ordinance " of 1785), covers the entire territory of the United States from excluding the following states: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Iceland, Connecticut, New York, New jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Other exceptions are small areas in other states that have already been measured under Spanish or French rule; For example, the French "long lot system" is in southern Illinois along the Mississippi River also fragmented, were measured at the plots with a few hundred meters along the river and up to about a mile to the home.

Political significance

Townships are called Minor Civil Divisions (MCD ) in the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut1
  • Illinois2
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Maine1
  • Massachusetts1
  • Michigan3
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska2
  • New Hampshire1
  • New Jersey
  • New York1
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Iceland1
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont1
  • Wisconsin1

1 - In these states, the townships are called Towns. 2 - Only some counties are divided into townships 3 - so-called charter townships enjoy going on legal rights

Townships are, especially in the Midwest, auxiliary bodies of the County Administration in the conduct of elections, in matters of social assistance or road construction and own municipal administrative entities with elected officials. This updated management organization is often sought when a previously little community has ( as a purely residential settlements in the ring main urban centers, for example ) is achieved by disproportionate settlement of a population that justifies the status Township. In some states, they overlap with all their great cities and villages, in others they cover only the areas that are not incorporated settlement belonging. Unlike incorporated Towns, Villages and citys, can exceed the County boundaries, counties consist always of a larger number of townships.