Does anyone know of some modern confederacies?

I’d also like some information as to some past confederacies that have dissolved and why they’ve dissolved.


A confederation is when a group of more-or-less equally-powerful units came together as equals, isn’t it?

By that definition, we have, among others:

Canada and Australia. At least, Canada had its centennial of Confederation in 1967, and Australia is having its centennial of Federation this year.

Germany. It’s a Federal Republic.

USA. It’s not actually called a confederation but it started as one.

If there is a specific formal political definition of confederation, as opposed to, say, empire or kingdom, I’d like to know about it…

Although I appreciate your taking the time to respond, the information you provided wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, so here’s the definition.

A confederation is a system of government where sovereign states delegate power to a central government for specific purposes.

By your definition, wasn’t the USA formally created as a confederation?

And what about Switzerland-- its country domain and car ID is CH, or Confederation Helvetique?

Yes, the first official national government of our country was a loose confederation of sovereign states.

Yeah, Switzerland would count, I think.

why do confederacies dissolve? was japan ever a confederacy?

Confederacies do dissolve.

In some cases, they find they need a more powerful central government. The U.S.A. scrapped the original, loosely-bound Articles of Confederation, and adopted the current Constitution.

In other cases, the member states have conflicts which tears apart the larger group. The religious wars of the Thirty Years War tore apart the Holy Roman Empire. Then the Treaty of Westphalia gave each of the duchies and principalities sovereign rights, as long as they did not oppose the Emperor. After that, the empire was simply a group of independent states who all gave lip service to the Hapsburgs. Then Napoleon came along and formally ended the whole thing.

As for modern examples, I think the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth {formerly the British Empire}) fits the definition.

The European Union is trying to set up a confederation.

In a confederacy, the individual states or provinces have alot of power that members of a federal system do not have. For example, the provinces of Canada all have nullification powers. If they don’t like a federal law, they can usually just ignore it. A state in the US couldn’t get away with that.

The Yugoslav Confederation is a great example of a confederacy in the throes of dissolution. It now consists of only Serbia and Montenegro, and the United States, while recognizing the sovereignty of both, no longer considers the two to be a single unit.

The Six Nations, a.k.a. the Iroquois Confederacy, claims to be the oldest participatory democracy on earth.