MOST AMERICANS don’t think of the United States as an empire in the traditional sense, but as it turns out, most Americans are wrong. The United States is in control of many territories that are technically part of the United States, but aren’t represented fully within our democracy.

Probably the most prominent example is the District of Columbia, where I currently live, and where votes at the national level count for basically nothing. DC even included a protest about their status on their license plates, which read: “Taxation Without Representation,” which, you may remember from your history class, was a large part of the reason we broke from England in the first place.

This video by YouTubing great CGP Grey points out a large number of territories that have the “part of the US but not totally part of the US” status, such as Puerto Rico. Check out the video to learn why the US system is organized this way.