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The association or banding together of two or more persons for the purpose of committing an act or furthering an enterprise that is forbidden by law, or that, though lawful in itself, becomes unlawful when made the object of the confederacy. More commonly called a conspiracy. The union of two or more independent states for the purpose of common safety or a furtherance of their mutual goals.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a combination of groups or individuals for unlawful purposes.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

CONFEDERACY, intern. law. An agreement between two or more states or nations, by which they unite for their mutual protection and good. This term is applied to such agreement between two independent nations, but it is used to signify the union of different states of the same nation, as the confederacy of the states.
     2. The original thirteen states, in 1781, adopted for their federal government the "Articles of confederation and perpetual union between the States," which continued in force until the present constitution of the United States went into full operation, on the 30th day of April, 1789, when president Washington was sworn into office. Vide 1 Story on the Const. B. 2, c. 3 and 4.

CONFEDERACY, crim. law. An agreement between two or more persons to do an unlawful act, or an act, which though not unlawful in itself, becomes so by the confederacy. The technical term usually employed to signify this offence, is conspiracy. (q.v.)

CONFEDERACY, equity pleading. The fourth part of a bill in chancery usually charges a confederacy; this is either general or special.
     2. The first is by alleging a general charge of confederacy between the defendants and other persons to injure or defraud the plaintiff. The common form of the charge is, that the defendants, combining and confederating together, to and with divers other persons as yet to the plaintiff unknown, but whose names, when discovered, he prays may be inserted in the bill, and they be made parties thereto, with proper and apt words to charge them with the premises, in order to injure and oppress the plaintiff in ti e premises, do absolutely refuse, &c. Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 40; Coop. Eq. Pl. 9 Story, Eq. Pl. Sec. 29; 1 Mont. Eq. Pl. 77; Barton, Suit in Eq. 33; Van Heyth. Eq. Drafts, 4.
     3. When it is intended to rely on a confederacy or combination as a ground of equitable jurisdiction, the confederacy must be specially charged to justify an assumption of jurisdiction. Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 41; Story, Eq. Pl. Sec. 30.
     4. A general allegation of confederacy is now considered as mere form. Story, Eq. Pl. Sec. 29; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4169.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
At a confederacy meeting, parties would have been prevented from stacking the deck and flooding the assembly floor with delegates in an attempt to push a resolution through.
"The Political Confederacy of Ontario met March 15 and agreed that Ontario's position would remain that all chiefs and proxies in attendance would retain the right to vote at this AFN confederacy," Commanda wrote.
The League argues that, "The American South, culturally the most distinct region of the United States and once an independent nation, has the population and the economy to form one of the most powerful nations on Earth." The League likes to define the South as the 11 states of the Confederacy plus Kentucky and Oklahoma.
The states of the upper South also joined the Confederacy late in the secession crisis and contained strong pockets of Unionist sentiment--thus, if occupied, they were potentially vulnerable to Lincoln's conciliatory reconstruction policy.
Mississippi, he tells us, had a strong--very strong--antiparty tradition, and this, coupled with an exaggerated sense of "machoism," led to that fateful day in early 1861 when Mississippi followed many of its Southern brethren into the uncharted waters of the Southern Confederacy.
The result, in the eyes of any but Southern diehards, is something of an apologia, a pious bow to the "religion of the lost cause." Instead of analyzing the Jewish Confederacy in the light of recent scholarship, and with an eye toward helping readers better understand the disjunction between partisan memories of the past and the historical complexity that hindsight reveals, Rosen offers a brief for the Confederacy as old Southern Jews remember it -- a Confederacy filled with devoted heroes who paid the ultimate price for the honor of the cause that they so lovingly served.
In this regard, the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott may be viewed as Black America's Lexington and Concord, where freedom was born in "the cradle of the Confederacy." Led by Martin Luther King, Jr., an American David, Montgomery made possi ble the latter victories in Greensboro, Selma, Birmingham, Little Rock, and other places forgotten by history, as Tom Dent notes in Southern Journey: A Return to the Civil Rights Movement (1997).
Traditionalists say today's "politically correct" and racially sensitive view of the Civil War goes too far if it means the Confederacy can no longer be commemorated.
Lauding the Confederacy is part of this symbolic politics.
What were the important issues facing Mallory and the Confederacy in creating their navy?
For hundreds of years, central and western New York had been inhabited by the six member nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. During the colonial period, the French, Dutch, and British coveted its strategic location along an important fur trade route.

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