Candians: Confederation? ...not federation?

I am curious about the Confederation Bridge and the Canadian’s use of this word “confederation”. In the US, a confederation was literally those States “against the federation”. But, in Canada, it seems to mean the uniting of the provinces, is that correct? Seems funny to me…

What do the Chinook SDopers have to say?
-Jinx

Why would you ask that question of the Chinook Dopers? :confused:
As for “Confederation”: You can read some information about the basic meaning of the word at Wikipedia: Confederation. Your understanding of what it meant when used first by the United States in the “Articles of Confederation,” then later by the “Confederated States of America” appears a bit inaccurate, perhaps. :slight_smile:

The Canadian Confederation is how we call the creation of the country, that is, as you say, the uniting of the four first provinces on July 1[sup]st[/sup], 1867. I guess the name comes from the fact that it was a “con-federation” of provinces, that is, the act of federating the provinces together. This is different from the traditional sense of “confederation”, which is how we call a union of states that is more decentralized than a federation. This sense is, I guess, the one that the Confederate States of America used, since they were very strong on States’ Rights.

The meaning of confederation has changed with time. It was always pretty variable. Confederation Bridge is so named since under the terms of Prince Edward Island’s entry into Confederation in 1873, the Government of Canada is obligated to provide year-round transportation for people, goods and services between PEI and the mainland. These days, a bridge is cheaper than a ferry service.

In summary, confederation and federation used to mean the same thing. In Canada, confederation meant the joining Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British North America in 1867, then other provinces later. The confederate states were against the federacy during the American Civil War, but this represents a change in the historical meaning of a group of communities with a central government of varying degrees of power to deal with “critical issues” in common.

This says it much better.

(From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederation )
A confederation is an association of sovereign states or communities, 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. A confederation, in modern political terms, is usually limited to a permanent union of sovereign states for common action in relation to other states.

The nature of the relationship between the entities constituting a confederation varies considerably. Likewise, the relationship between the member states and the central government, and the distribution of powers among them, is highly variable. Some looser confederations are similar to international organizations, while tighter confederations may resemble federations.

The difference in meaning between a confederation and a federation had evolved in usage over time. Prior to the US Civil War, the terms were largely synonymous, but differing political views with regard to the nature of political unions, especially as applied to the US Constitution (which up to that time was considered both a Federal and a Confederated Union), caused each of the terms to subsequently embody one of the two rival and opposing theories of state’s rights. Currently, a confederation is considered a state or entity similar in pyramidal structure to a federation but with a weaker central government. A confederation may also consist of member states which, while temporarily pooling sovereignty in certain areas, are considered entirely sovereign and retain the right of unilateral secession. A confederation is sometimes a loose alliance but in other cases the distinction between a federation and a confederation may be ambiguous. In contrast to a federation, a member state may participate in more than one confederation.

Because of the historical synonymity between the words Confederation/Confederacy and Federation, some nations originally organized themselves using the term “confederation,” but are in fact federations in structure as currently defined. The United States of America was first organized under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, which would today be defined as a Federation, and continued as such under the current Constitution of the United States in 1789. The Confederate States of America attempted to break away from the United States, touching off the American Civil War; although the CSA is often referred to as “the Confederacy” and modern supporters of the Confederate States often justify their secession in terms of states’ rights, the Confederate States Constitution for the most part copied the structure of the U.S. Constitution, with only minor differences in the area of states’ rights.

The noun confederation refers to the process of (or the event of) confederating; i.e., establishing a confederation (or by extension a federation). In Canada — now a relatively decentralized federation compared to more centralized federations like the United States — “Confederation” generally refers to the British North America Act, 1867 which initially united three colonies of British North America (Province of Canada, Province of New Brunswick and Province of Nova Scotia), and to the subsequent incorporation of other colonies and territories. Despite this use of the word “confederation,” Canada is a federal state.


Or what I linked already… :smiley:

Or that. :smack:

I only saw the Chinookian link.

Though Severus did ask about the Confederation Bridge, too.