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in international law, formal act by which a state asserts its sovereignty over a territory previously outside its jurisdiction. Many kinds of territory have been subject to annexation, chief among them those inhabited by settlers of the annexing power, those which already have had the status of protectorates of the annexing state, and those conquered by the force of arms. The consent of other interested powers must be obtained in order that the annexation be generally recognized in international law. Efforts to establish the self-determination of inhabitants as the only grounds for the transfer of territory have been realized in the Charter of the United Nations, which does not recognize annexation as an instrument of national policy. The term annexation is also used in municipal government to describe the process by which an incorporated local government may extend its legal control over surrounding areas. Usually this type of annexation requires the consent of the other communities concerned.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



appropriation by force (seizure) of all or a part of the territory of a state or people. In general, wars ended in annexation during the slave-owning and feudal periods; in the period of capitalism, annexation became the basic means of expanding the territory of one state at the expense of another. The list of instances of annexation contains several kinds of colonial seizure as well as a variation of annexation—the creation of states with puppet regimes (for example, the formation in 1932 of Manchukuo by Japan).

In the very first days of its existence, the Soviet state enacted the Decree on Peace, in which it set forth its position on the question of annexation, defining annexation as any appropriation of a small or weak nationality without its definite, clear, and voluntarily expressed consent, no matter when this forced appropriation took place, how advanced or retarded the nation which has been forcibly annexed or forcibly contained within the borders of a given state, or, finally, where the given nation is located—in Europe or in distant transoceanic countries (Collection of Statutes of the RSFSR, 1917, no. 1, p. 2.)

The USSR consistently opposes the policy of annexation, defending the right of all peoples to self-determination and independence (for example, the protest of the Soviet government concerning the annexation of Czechia—Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia—and other regions of Czechoslovakia by Hitler’s Germany in 1939 and the protest to the Soviet government concerning the annexation of Austria in 1938 by Hitler’s Germany).

According to the standards of contemporary international law, annexation is illegal. The United Nations Charter forbids any threat of force or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political autonomy of any state (ch. 1, arts. 1, 2, etc.). In spite of the illegality of annexation, imperialist states continue their predatory policy in the form of covert annexation (for example, the USA’s extention of the status of statehood to the annexed Hawaiian Islands) or in the form of overt annexation (for example, the annexation of South West Africa by the Republic of South Africa).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The acquisition of new territory by a governmental authority, such as a city or state.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ashrawi said the Palestinian leadership "unequivocally condemns these illegal and irresponsible positions by these senior US administration officials, whose affiliations to the fundamentalist, extremist, and racist rightwing in Israel are unquestionable,' calling "on all responsible international actors to confront the dangerous ramifications of the reckless behavior by the US administration, which threatens to plunge the region and world into chaos and instability by normalizing grave violations of international law like annexation and land grab."
In the last few years, however, Russia and the US have made moves that suggest a loss of interest in the principles of state sovereignty -- through the annexation of Crimea and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
The US would be the first country to recognize the annexation, which the rest of the international community regards as Syria territory occupied by Israel.
Yet the demonstrators do not regard the deplorable state of the economy as a consequence of the Crimea annexation.
North Charleston annexed the acre into the city in late 2017, which opened the door to a 2,000-acre annexation. North Charleston bought the one acre of land from The Whitfield Co., which owns the 2,000-acre parcel, in September 2017.
The court ruled that a party that can demonstrate that the annexing body engaged in nefarious conduct in purportedly complying with the law has standing to challenge an annexation, although it noted that the party's burden to demonstrate deceitful conduct in order to have standing would be high in light of the presumption of validity bestowed upon annexations.
The same year the city passed the ordinances, Lincoln asked the Wisconsin Department of Administration to review the annexation. The department found that the town could challenge the annexation on grounds that the area the city had annexed did not fulfill a "contiguity" requirement, pointing to the 1,251-acre area's irregular shape.
City officials in Mesquite and Pearland acknowledge the law has rushed their annexation plans but say annexation had been on their radar long before Gov.
Dubai: The National Union faction, which is represented by the Habayit Hayehudi party in the Knesset, approved on Tuesday a detailed plan for annexation of Palestinian territories as talk of annexation is increasingly becoming more mainstream in Israeli society.
While the Ukraine claims the rights of the cultural objects, the ownership has come into question due to the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
(1) Hailed as a victory for cities, the Florida Supreme Court decision held that cities can require landowners in unincorporated areas to execute "voluntary" annexation petitions in return for access to city utilities.