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A union of states in which each member state retains some independent control over internal and external affairs. Thus, for international purposes, there are separate states, not just one state. A federation, in contrast, is a union of states in which external affairs are controlled by a unified, central government.

See: affiliation, alliance, association, band, body, cartel, chamber, coalescence, committee, compact, concert, confederacy, consolidation, contribution, federation, integration, league, merger, partnership, party, pool, society, sodality

CONFEDERATION, government. The name given to that form of government which the American colonies, on shaking off the British yoke, devised for their mutual safety and government.
     2. The articles of confederation, (q.v.) were finally adopted on the 15th of November, 1777, and with the exception of Maryland, which, however, afterwards also agreed to them, were speedily adopted by the United States, and by which they were formed into a federal @bod y, and went into force on the first day of March, 1781; 1 Story Const. Sec. 225; and so remained until the adoption of the present constitution, which acquired the force of the supreme law of the land on the first Wednesday of March, 1789. 5 Wheat. R. 420. Vide Articles of Confederation.

References in periodicals archive ?
Following the African Commission of Human and Peoples' Rights, internal self-determination would encompass local government, federalism, confederalism, unitarism, or another form of political action that gives force to the people's will without abrogating territorial integrity.
Hizbullah and its ally Aoun also consulted after Bassil's meeting with Hariri, as anti-Syrian Maronite leader Gemayel accused the opposition of pushing for confederalism.
In the third round of the Kurdistan newspaper (1917-18), Suraiya wrote essays in Kurdish language about Federalism and Confederalism, and this is evidence of the influence of the French Revolution philosophy.
Often these communities of faith can reach some compromise on the basis of a balance of confessional power, which is linked to territorial confederalism.

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