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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 ?
A confederal system is a mode of government in which a number of smaller states choose to delegate some of their policy making rights to a central body.
One explanation is that since about 1930 the Muslims were demanding a provincial option to ensure absolute power to Muslims in their majority provinces they would have liked to see the provinces as independent (and sovereign) units entering if necessary into confederal relations with other units to form a confederation for the whole of India.
As a confederal status will give the KRG more autonomy than at present, this belt will deprive Iran of any direct link to Syria and Lebanon which is crucial for its control of a major part of the East Mediterranean coast; it will prevent creation of a theocracy in Lebanon's east and south and Assad's Alawite state in Syria's north-west.
Kurdistan President Mass'oud Barzani repeatedly says Iraq's Kurdish region could assume a confederal status, rather than having a semi-autonomy under the current federal system for the whole country as stipulated in the constitution.
The Confederal Secretary at ETUC, Veronica Nilsson, pointed out to MEPs that in those countries where the social partners reached an agreement, like in Greece or Portugal, "the Troika did not respect it and pushed through its own reforms".
PRESIDENT of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left in the European parliament Gabriele Zimmer underlined the importance of bolstering parliamentary relations and being well informed about the latest developments in Bahrain.
Dans ce contexte, Mahjouba Chartaoui, membre du bureau confederal de la CGTT a indique, lors d'une rencontre tenue, ce mercredi 8 janvier, qu'une delegation de ce comite visitera prochainement la Tunisie pour mieux gerer cette situation.
Another significant criticism of LM concerns the ways in which confederal structures may end up reconstituting state-like systems of authority.
Gesa Thiessen is Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Confederal School of Religions, Theology and Ecumenics, Trinity College, and Programme Leader at The Priory Institute, Dublin
Un segundo momento fundacional (1823-1824) se distingue por la reformulacion de la tradicion monarquica que dio forma a una republica confederal.
She is currently a Confederal Secretary of the European TUC.
Speakers at the event on Saturday and Sunday will include TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady, Ann Pettifor, director of Advocacy International, and Judith Kirton-Darling, confederal secretary of European Trade Union Confederation.

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