A confederation is an association of sovereign states, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. Confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues, such as defense, foreign affairs, foreign trade, and a common currency, with the central government being required to provide support for all members.
In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, konfederacja (Latin confederatio) was a privilege of szlachta to form a military organisation in order to achieve a common political aim.
List of historical confederations
Confederation vs. federation
Sometimes confederation is erroneously used in the place of federation. Nations which originally started out as confederations retained the word in their titles after officially becoming federations, such as Switzerland. The United States of America was a confederation first before becoming a federation with the ratification of the current US Constitution.
Confederation as an event
As a verbal noun, confederation refers to the process of (or the event of) confederating, i.e. establishing a federation or confederation. For example, in Canada the phrase "after the Confederation" generally means "after the British North America Act of 1867", which had established the Dominion of Canada.
Confederation Day or Federation Day is frequently a holiday in federations or confederations, equivalent to Independence Day for any entity that achieved statehood as such. This is often renamed or colloquially celebrated under a different name (e.g. in Canada Confederation Day (July 1st) was renamed Dominion Day, and later was renamed Canada Day).
Last updated: 10-10-2005 07:52:10