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A federation (also known as a federal state) is a
political entity A polity is an identifiable political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between indi ...
characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central
federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized ...
(
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government (the central or "federal" government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single politic ...
). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically
constitutionally A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitutionally
entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, a federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has overriding powers are not truly federal states. For example, such overriding powers may include: the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringes on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty. The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is considered to be federalist, or to be an example of
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government (the central or "federal" government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single politic ...
. It can be considered the opposite of another system, the
unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative divisions (sub-national units). Such units exercise only ...
.
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
, for example, has been unitary for many centuries.
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
and its '' Länder'' was a unitary state with
administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are generic names for geographical areas into which a particular ...

administrative division
s that became federated through the implementation of the Austrian Constitution following the 1918 collapse of
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exe ...

Austria-Hungary
.
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
, with its 16
states, or ''Länder''
states, or ''Länder''
, is an example of a federation. Federations are often
multi-ethnic Multiracial people (or mixed-race people) are people of many races. Many terms exist for people of various multiracial backgrounds, including ''multiracial'', ''biracial'', ''multiethnic'', ''polyethnic'', '' Métis'', '' Creole'', '' Muwallad' ...
and cover a large area of territory (such as
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...

Canada
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, or
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
), but neither is necessarily the case (such as
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis (), officially the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemis ...
or the
Federated States of Micronesia The Federated States of Micronesia (; abbreviated FSM), or simply Micronesia, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is oft ...
). Several ancient chiefdoms and kingdoms, such as the 4th-century BCE
League of Corinth The League of Corinth, also referred to as the Hellenic League (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country lo ...
,
Noricum Noricum () is the Latin name for the Celts, Celtic kingdom or federation of tribes that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia. In the first century AD, it became a Roman province, province of the Roman Empire. Its borders were the ...
in
Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the of Eurasia, it shares the continental landmass of with both ...

Central Europe
, and the
Iroquois Confederacy The Iroquois ( or ) or Haudenosaunee (; "People of the Longhouse") are an indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous peo ...

Iroquois Confederacy
in
pre-Columbian North America In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the original settlement of North and South America in the Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the Late Stone Age The Later Stone Age (LS ...
, could be described as federations or
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
s. The
Old Swiss Confederacy The Old Swiss Confederacy or Swiss Confederacy (German language, Modern German: ; historically , after the Swiss Reformation, Reformation also , "Confederation of the Swiss (people), Swiss") was a loose confederation of independent small state ...
was an early example of formal non-unitary statehood. Several colonies and dominions in the
New World The "New World" is a term for the majority of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The re ...
consisted of autonomous provinces, transformed to federal states upon independence such as the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, and various countries in
Latin America Latin America is the portion of the Americas comprising countries and regions where Romance languages—languages that derived from Latin—such as Spanish language in the Americas, Spanish, American Portuguese, Portuguese, and French language, Fr ...

Latin America
(see
Spanish American wars of independence The Spanish American wars of independence (25 September 1808 – 29 September 1833 es, Guerras de independencia hispanoamericanas) were numerous wars in Spanish America with the aim of political independence against Spanish rule during the earl ...
). Some of the New World federations failed; the
Federal Republic of Central America The Federal Republic of Central America ( es, República Federal de Centroamérica), also called the United Provinces of Central America ( es, Provincias Unidas del Centro de América) in its first year of creation, was a sovereign state A ...
broke up into independent states less than 20 years after its founding. Others, such as
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered ...

Argentina
, have shifted between federal,
confederal A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in ...
, and unitary systems, before settling into federalism.
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
became a federation only after the fall of the monarchy, and
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
became a federation after the
Federal War The Federal War ( es, Guerra Federal) — also known as the Great War or the Five Year War — was a civil war (1859–1863) in Venezuela between the Conservative Party (Venezuela), Conservative party and the Liberal Party (Venezuela), Liberal ...
. Australia and Canada are also federations. Germany is another
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
that has switched between confederal, federal and unitary rules, since the
German Confederation The German Confederation (german: Deutscher Bund) was an association of 39 predominantly German-speaking sovereign states in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on a common Histo ...

German Confederation
was founded in 1815. The
North German Confederation The North German Confederation (german: Norddeutscher Bund) was the Germans, German federal state which existed from July 1867 to December 1870. The Confederation came into existence after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 over the lordship of tw ...
, the succeeding
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
and the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
were federations. Founded in 1922, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
was formally a federation of
Soviet republics The Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Union Republics ( rus, Сою́зные Респу́блики, r=Soyúznye Respúbliki) were ethnically based administrative units of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (US ...
,
autonomous republics An autonomous republic is a type of administrative division similar to a province or Federated state, state. A significant number of autonomous republics can be found within the successor states of the Soviet Union, but the majority are located wit ...
and other federal subjects, though in practice highly centralized under the
government of the Soviet Union The Government of the Soviet Union ( rus, Прави́тельство СССР, p=prɐˈvʲitʲɪlʲstvə ɛs ɛs ɛs ˈɛr, r=Pravítelstvo SSSR, lang=no), formally the All-Union Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly abbr ...
. The
Russian Federation Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the world, covering over , and encom ...

Russian Federation
has inherited a similar system.
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
,
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
(then
Federation of Malaya The Federation of Malaya ( ms, Persekutuan Tanah Melayu; JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley c ...
) became federations on or shortly before becoming independent from the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
. In some recent cases, federations have been instituted as a measure to handle
ethnic conflict A refugee camp for displaced Rwandans in Zaire following the Rwandan genocide of 1994 An ethnic conflict is a conflict between two or more contending ethnic groups. While the source of the conflict may be political, social, economic or religio ...
within a state, such as
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
, and Iraq since 2005. With the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first ...

United States Constitution
having become effective on 4 March 1789, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
is the oldest surviving federation, while the newest federation is
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
, after its
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
went into effect on 20 September 2015.


Federations and other forms of state


Federations

The component states are in some sense sovereign, insofar as certain powers are reserved to them that may not be exercised by the central government. However, a federation is more than a mere loose alliance of independent states. The component states of a federation usually possess no powers in relation to foreign policy and so enjoy no independent status under
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
. However, German Länder have that power, which is beginning to be exercised on a European level. Some federations are called asymmetric because some states have more autonomy than others. An example of such a federation is
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, in which
Sarawak Sarawak (; ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Sarawak
and
Sabah Sabah () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Col ...

Sabah
agreed to form the federation on different terms and conditions from the states of
Peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Malaysia''), also known as West Malaysia or the Malaysian Peninsula, formerly known as Malaya (disambiguation), Malaya, is the part of Malaysia which occupies the southern half of the Ma ...
. A federation often emerges from an initial agreement between several separate states. The purpose can be the will to solve mutual problems and to provide for mutual defense or to create a
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
for an ethnicity spread over several states. The former was the case with the United States and Switzerland. However, as the histories of countries and nations vary, the federalist system of a state can be quite different from these models. Australia, for instance, is unique in that it came into existence as a nation by the democratic vote of the citizens of each state, who voted "yes" in referendums to adopt the
Australian Constitution The Constitution of Australia (or Australian Constitution) is a written constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it i ...
. Brazil, on the other hand, has experienced both the federal and the unitary state during its history. Some present-day states of the Brazilian federation retain borders set during the Portuguese colonization (before the very existence of the Brazilian state), whereas the latest state,
Tocantins Tocantins () is one of the 26 states of Brazil The federative units of Brazil ( pt, unidades federativas do Brasil) are subnational entities with a certain degree of autonomy (self-government, self-regulation and self-collection) and endowed ...
, was created by the 1988 Constitution for chiefly administrative reasons. Seven of the top eight largest countries by area are governed as federations.


Unitary states

A
unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative divisions (sub-national units). Such units exercise only ...
is sometimes one with only a single, centralized, national tier of government. However, unitary states often also include one or more self-governing regions. The difference between a federation and this kind of unitary state is that in a unitary state the autonomous status of self-governing regions exists by the sufferance of the central government, and may be unilaterally revoked. While it is common for a federation to be brought into being by agreement between a number of formally independent states, in a unitary state self-governing regions are often created through a process of devolution, where a formerly centralized state agrees to grant autonomy to a region that was previously entirely subordinate. Thus, federations are often established voluntarily from "below" whereas devolution grants self-government from "above". It is often part of the philosophy of a unitary state that, regardless of the actual status of any of its parts, its entire territory constitutes a single sovereign entity or
nation-state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newsp ...
, and that by virtue of this the central government exercises sovereignty over the whole territory ''as of right''. In a federation, on the other hand, sovereignty is often regarded as residing notionally in the component states, or as being shared between these states and the central government.


Confederation

A
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
, in modern political terms, is usually limited to a permanent union of sovereign states for common action in relation to other states. The closest entity in the world to a confederation at this time is the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
. While the word ''confederation'' was officially used when the Canadian federal system was established in 1867, the term refers only to the process and not the resulting state since Canadian provinces are not sovereign and do not claim to be. In the case of Switzerland, while the country is still known as the Swiss Confederation (Confoederatio Helvetica, Confédération Suisse) this is now a misnomer since the Swiss cantons lost their sovereign status in 1848. In Belgium, however, the opposite movement is underway.One of the most important recent books about the Belgian institutions, written by one of the leading French-speaking jurists concludes: ''Vers le confédéralisme'' (Toward a Confederation). See: Charles-Etienne Lagasse, ''Les Nouvelles institutions politiques de la Belgique et de l'Europe'', Erasme,
Namur Namur ( , ; ; nl, Namen ; wa, Nameur) is a city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality in Wallonia, Belgium. It is both the capital of the Provinces of Belgium, province of Namur Province, Namur and of Wallonia, hosting the Parliament of ...

Namur
2003, p. 603
Belgium was founded as a centralized state, after the French model, but has gradually been reformed into a federal state by consecutive constitutional reforms since the 1970s. Moreover, although nominally called a federal state, the country's structure already has a number of
confederational traits
confederational traits
. At present, there is a growing movement to transform the existing federal state into a looser confederation with two or three constitutive states and/or two special regions.Many Flemings would prefer two states, Flanders and Wallonia, and two special regions, Brussels and the German-speaking region. In Wallonia, there is wider support for three states: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. A confederation is most likely to feature three differences when contrasted with a federation: (1) No real direct powers: many confederal decisions are externalized by member-state legislation; (2) Decisions on day-to-day-matters are not taken by simple majority but by special majorities or even by consensus or unanimity (veto for every member); (3) Changes of the constitution, usually a treaty, require unanimity. Over time these terms acquired distinct connotations leading to the present difference in definition. An example of this is the United States under the
Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America ...
. The Articles established a national government under what today would be defined as a federal system (albeit with a comparatively weaker federal government). However, Canadians, designed with a ''stronger'' central government than the U.S. in the wake of the Civil War of the latter, use the term "Confederation" to refer to the formation or joining, not the structure, of Canada. Legal reforms, court rulings, and political compromises have ''decentralized'' Canada in practice since its formation in 1867.


Empire

An
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and ...

empire
is a multi-ethnic state,
multinational state A multinational state or a multinational union is a sovereign entity Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty i ...
, or a group of nations with a
central government A central government is the government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthl ...
established usually through
coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. Intimidation is widely observed in animal behavior (particularly in a ritualiz ...
(on the model of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
). An empire often includes self-governing regions, but these will possess autonomy only at the sufferance of the central government. On the other hand, a political entity that is an empire in name, may comprise several partly autonomous kingdoms organised together in a federation, with the empire being ruled over by an
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...

emperor
or senior king ( great king,
high king A high king is a king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The ...

high king
,
king of kings King of Kings was a ruling title employed primarily by monarchs based in the Middle East. Though most commonly associated with History of Iran, Iran (historically known as name of Iran, Persia in Western world, the West), especially the Achae ...
...). One example of this was the
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
(1871–1918).


Comparison with other systems of autonomy


Federacy

A
federacy A federacy is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists o ...
is where a unitary state incorporates one or more self-governing
autonomous area The federal subject The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects o ...
s. It is distinguished from a federation in that the constitutional structure of the state is still unitary, but incorporates federalist principles. Some federacies, notably
Åland Åland (; fi, Ahvenanmaa: ; ; ) is an Federacy, autonomous and Demilitarized zone, demilitarised region of Finland since 1920 by a decision of the League of Nations. It is the smallest region of Finland, constituting 0.51% of its land area an ...
, were established through
international treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
.


Devolution

A federation differs from a devolved state, such as
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
and the United Kingdom, because, in a devolved state, the central government can revoke the independence of the subunits (
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; : ''Scots Pairlament'') is the , legislature of . Located in the area of the capital city, , it is frequently referred to by the Holyrood. The Parliament is a democratically elected body ...

Scottish Parliament
, the
Senedd Senedd (/ˈsɛnɛð/), a Welsh cognate of "senate", may refer to: * Senedd Cymru – the Welsh Parliament, the devolved legislature of Wales * Senedd building, the building which houses the Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament {{Disambiguation ...

Senedd
and the
Northern Ireland Assembly The Northern Ireland Assembly ( ga, Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann; Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots: ''Norlin Airlan Assemblie'') often referred to by the metonym Stormont, is the devolution, devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has ...
in the case of the UK) without changing the constitution. In some cases, such as the
Autonomous communities of Spain eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_name = , map = , category = Autonomous administrative ...

Autonomous communities of Spain
, devolution has led to federation in all but name, or "federation without federalism".The Federal Option and Constitutional Management of Diversity in Spain Xavier Arbós Marín, page 375; included in 'The Ways of Federalism in Western Countries and the Horizons of Territorial Autonomy in Spain' (volume 2), edited by Alberto López-Eguren and Leire Escajedo San Epifanio; edited by
Springer Springer or springers may refer to: Places ;United States * Springer, New Mexico * Springer, Oklahoma * Springer Mountain, southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail * Springer Opera House, Columbus, Georgia Animals * In cattle, a cow or heifer ne ...
, (eBook)


Associated states

A federation also differs from an
associated state An associated state is the minor partner in a formal, free relationship between a political territory with a degree of statehood and a (usually larger) nation, for which no other specific term, such as protectorate, is adopted. The details of suc ...
, such as the
Federated States of Micronesia The Federated States of Micronesia (; abbreviated FSM), or simply Micronesia, is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is oft ...
(in free association with the United States) and
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and i ...
and
Niue Niue ( or ; niu, Niuē) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, r ...

Niue
(which form part of the
Realm of New Zealand The Realm of New Zealand consists of the entire area (or realm A realm is a community or territory over which a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from O ...

Realm of New Zealand
). There are two kinds of associated states: in case of Micronesia, the association is concluded by a treaty between two sovereign states; in the case of the Cook Islands and Niue, the association is concluded by domestic legal arrangements.


Crown dependencies

The relation between the
Crown dependencies#REDIRECT Crown Dependencies The Crown dependencies (french: Dépendances de la Couronne; gv, Croghaneyn-crooin) are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off t ...

Crown dependencies
of the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth The "National Anthem of the Isle of Man" ( gv, Arrane Ashoonagh Vannin) was written and composed by William Henry Gill (1839–1923), with the Manx translation by John J. Kneen (1873–1939). It is often r ...

Isle of Man
and the bailiwicks of
Guernsey Guernsey (; Guernésiais Guernésiais, also known as ''Dgèrnésiais'', Guernsey French, and Guernsey Norman French, is the variety of the Norman language Norman or Norman French (', french: Normand, Guernésiais: ''Normand'', Jèrriais: ...

Guernsey
and
Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, label=Jèrriais, Jèrri ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ''Bailliage dé Jèrri''), is an island and self-governing Crown dependencies, Crown Dependency near the coa ...

Jersey
in the
Channel Islands The Channel Islands ( nrf, Îles d'la Manche; french: îles Anglo-Normandes or ''îles de la Manche'') are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...

Channel Islands
and the United Kingdom is very similar to a federate relation: the Islands enjoy independence from the United Kingdom, which, via The Crown, takes care of their foreign relations and defense – although the UK Parliament does have overall power to legislate for the dependencies. However, the islands are neither an incorporated part of the United Kingdom nor are they considered to be independent or associated states. The islands do not have a monarch, ''per se''; rather in the Isle of Man the
British Monarch The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established ...
is, ''
ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office. The term ''ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) ...
'',
Lord of Mann The Lord of Mann ( gv, Çhiarn Vannin) is the lord proprietor and head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state (polity), state#Foakes, Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of statebein ...
, and in the Bailiwicks of Guernsey and Jersey, the
British Monarch The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents A precedent is a principle or rule established ...
rules as the
Duke of Normandy In the Middle Ages, the Duke of Normandy was the ruler of the Duchy of Normandy in north-western Kingdom of France, France. The duchy arose out of a grant of land to the Viking leader Rollo by the French king Charles the Simple, Charles III in 911 ...
.


Dependent territories

Dependent territories A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence upright=1.0, Pedro I of Brazil, Pedro surrounded by a crowd in São Paulo after breaking the news of Independence of Brazi ...
, such as the
British overseas territories The British Overseas Territories (BOTs), also known as United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs), are fourteen dependent territory, territories all with a constitutional and historical link with the United Kingdom. They are remnants of the B ...

British overseas territories
, are vested with varying degrees of power; some enjoy considerable independence from the sovereign state, which only takes care of their foreign relations and defense. However, they are neither considered to be part of it nor recognized as sovereign or associated states.


''De facto'' federations

The distinction between a federation and a unitary state is often quite ambiguous. A unitary state may closely resemble a federation in structure and, while a central government may possess the theoretical right to revoke the autonomy of a self-governing region, it may be politically difficult for it to do so in practice. The self-governing regions of some unitary states also often enjoy greater autonomy than those of some federations. For these reasons, it is sometimes argued that some modern unitary states are ''de facto'' federations. ''De facto'' federations, or quasi-federations, are often termed "
regional state A regional state or a regionalised unitary state, is a term used to denote a type of state that is formally unitary but where a high degree of political power has been highly decentralised to regional governments. This contrasts with a state organ ...
s".


Spain

Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
is suggested as one possible ''de facto'' federation as it grants more self-government to its
autonomous communities In Spain, an autonomous community ( es, comunidad autónoma) is a first-level political divisions of Spain, political and administrative division, created in accordance with the Spanish Constitution of 1978, Spanish constitution of 1978, with the ...

autonomous communities
than are retained by the constituent entities of most federations. For the
Spanish parliament The Cortes Generales (; en, Spanish Parliament, lit=General Courts) are the bicameral Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature divided into two separate Deliberative assembly, assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicamera ...
to revoke the autonomy of regions such as
Galicia Galicia may refer to: Geographic regions * Galicia (Spain), a region and autonomous community of northwestern Spain ** Gallaecia, a Roman province ** The post-Roman Kingdom of the Suebi, also called the Kingdom of Gallaecia ** The medieval Kingdom ...
,
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
or the
Basque Country Image:Euskal Herriaren terminologia.png, Map showing the geographical and political divisions of the Basque Country Basque Country may refer to: *Basque Country (autonomous community) (''Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa'' in Basque; ''Comunidad Autónoma ...
would be a political near-impossibility, though nothing bars it legally. The Spanish parliament has, however, suspended the autonomy of
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

Catalonia
in response to the
Catalan declaration of independence The Catalan declaration of independence ( ca, Declaració d'independència de Catalunya; es, Declaración de Independencia de Cataluña) was an illegal resolution that was passed by the Parliament of Catalonia The Parliament of Catalonia ( ca ...
, in the lead up to the Catalan regional election, 2017, 2017 Catalan election. Additionally, some autonomies such as Navarre or the Basque Country have full control over taxation and spending, transferring a payment to the central government for the common services (military, foreign relations, macroeconomic policy). For example, scholar Enrique Guillén López discusses the "federal nature of Spain's government (a trend that almost no one denies)." Each autonomous community is governed by a Statute of Autonomy (''Estatuto de Autonomía'') under the Constitution of Spain, Spanish Constitution of 1978.


South Africa

Although South Africa bears some elements of a federal system, such as the allocation of certain powers to provinces, it is nevertheless constitutionally and functionally a unitary state.


European Union

The
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
(EU) is a sui generis political union or confederation (the assemblage of societies or an association of two or more states into one state). Robert Schuman, the initiator of the European Community system, wrote that a Transnational governance, transnational Community like the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community lay midway between an association of States where they retained complete independence and a federation leading to a fusion of States in a superstate, super-state. The Founding fathers of the European Union, Founding Fathers of the European Union wrote the Europe Declaration, Europe Declaration (Charter of the Community) at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1951), Treaty of Paris on 18 April 1951 saying that Europe should be organized on a transnational foundation. They envisaged a structure quite different from a federation called the European Political Community. The EU is a three-pillar structure of the original supranational European Economic Community and the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Euratom, plus two largely intergovernmentalism, intergovernmental pillars dealing with External Affairs and Justice and Home Affairs. The EU is therefore not a ''De facto#De jure, de jure'' federation, although some academic observers conclude that after 50 years of institutional evolution since the Treaties of Rome it is ''becoming'' one. The European Union possesses attributes of a federal state. However, its central government is far weaker than that of most federations and the individual members are sovereign states under international law, so it is usually characterized as an unprecedented form of supra-national union. The EU has responsibility for important areas such as trade, monetary union, agriculture, fisheries. Nonetheless, EU Member State of the European Union, member states retain the right to act independently in matters of foreign policy and defense, and also enjoy a near-monopoly over other major policy areas such as criminal justice and taxation. Since the Treaty of Lisbon, the Member States' right to leave the Union is codified, and the Union operates with more qualified majority voting (rather than unanimity) in many areas. A more nuanced view has been given by the German Constitutional Court. Here the EU is defined as 'an association of sovereign national states (''Staatenverbund'')'. With this view, the European Union resembles more of a
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty, confederations of states tend to be established for dealing with critical issu ...
.


People's Republic of China

Constitutionally, the power vested in the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, special administrative regions of the People's Republic is granted from the Central People's Government, through a decision by the National People's Congress. However, there have been certain largely informal grants of power to the provinces, to handle economic affairs and implement national policies, resulting in a system some have termed federalism "with Chinese characteristics".


Myanmar

Constitutionally a
unitary state A unitary state is a State (polity), state governed as a single entity in which the central government is ultimately supreme. The central government may create (or abolish) administrative divisions (sub-national units). Such units exercise only ...
, the political system in Myanmar bears many elements of federalism. Each administrative divisions of Myanmar, administrative division has its own cabinets and chief ministers, making it more like a federation rather than a unitary state.


Wallis and Futuna

The France, French overseas collectivity Wallis and Futuna maintains some quasi-federation attributes. The territory is divided into three traditional chiefdoms; Uvea (Wallis and Futuna), Uvea, Sigave, and Alo (Wallis and Futuna), Alo. The chiefdoms are allowed to have their own legal custom, legal system which have to be implemented along with Law of France, French legal system.


Internal controversy and conflict

Certain forms of political and constitutional dispute are common to federations. One issue is that the exact division of power and responsibility between federal and regional governments is often a source of controversy. Often, as is the case with the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, such conflicts are resolved through the judicial system, which delimits the powers of federal and local governments. The relationship between federal and local courts varies from nation to nation and can be a controversial and complex issue in itself. Another common issue in federal systems is the conflict between regional and national interests, or between the interests and aspirations of different ethnic groups. In some federations the entire jurisdiction is relatively homogeneous and each constituent state resembles a miniature version of the whole; this is known as 'congruent federalism'. On the other hand, incongruent federalism exists where different states or regions possess distinct ethnic groups. The ability of a federal government to create national institutions that can mediate differences that arise because of linguistic, ethnic, religious, or other regional differences is an important challenge. The inability to meet this challenge may lead to the secession of parts of a federation or to civil war, as occurred in the United States (southern states interpreted slavery under the tenth amendment as a state right, while northern states were against slavery, with a catalysis occurring in the then–Bleeding Kansas, Kansas Territory), in
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
and in Switzerland. In the case of
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, Singapore was expelled from the federation because of rising racial tension. In some cases, internal conflict may lead a federation to collapse entirely, as occurred the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the Gran Colombia, the United Provinces of Central America, and the West Indies Federation.


Federal governments

The federal government is the common or national or Supranational union, supranational government of a federation. A federal government may have distinct powers at various levels authorized or delegated to it by its member states. The structure of federal governments vary. Based on a broad definition of a basic
federalism Federalism is a mixed or compound mode of government that combines a general government (the central or "federal" government) with regional governments (provincial, state, cantonal, territorial or other sub-unit governments) in a single politic ...
, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and govern through common institutions with overlapping or shared powers as prescribed by a constitution. The federal government is the government at the level of the sovereign state. Usual responsibilities of this level of government are maintaining national security and exercising international diplomacy, including the right to sign binding treaties. Basically, a modern federal government, within the limits defined by its constitution, has the power to make laws for the whole country, unlike local governments. As originally written, the
United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first ...

United States Constitution
was created to limit the federal government from exerting power over the states by enumerating only specific powers. It was further limited by the addition of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Tenth Amendment contained in the United States Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights and the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, Eleventh Amendment. However, later amendments, particularly the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fourteenth Amendment, gave the federal government considerable authority over states. Federal government within this structure are the government ministries and departments and agencies to which the ministers of government are assigned.


Contemporary

There are 27 federations in the world, with 6 of them in each of Africa, Asia and Europe, 4 in North America, 3 in South America and 2 in Oceania.


Long form titles

* Federal republic, Federal Republic:
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...

Germany
, Somalia,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
. * Federation:
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
,
Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Kitts and Nevis (), officially the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis, is an island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemis ...
,
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
(de facto) * Republic:
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered ...

Argentina
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan. * Others: ** Bolivarian Republic (
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
) ** Confederation (Switzerland) ** Commonwealth (Australia) ** British Dominions#Canada, Dominion (
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Oce ...

Canada
before 1982) ** Federal Democratic Republic (Ethiopia,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
) ** Federated States (Federated States of Micronesia, Micronesia) ** Federative Republic (
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
) ** Islamic Republic (
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
) ** Kingdom (Belgium) ** Union (Comoros) ** United Emirates (United Arab Emirates) ** United States (
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, Mexico) * None: **
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
(since 1998) ** Canada (since 1982) **
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia


Defunct

* Inca Empire (1197–1572) * United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (1815–1825) * Unification of Hispaniola, Hispaniola (1822–1844) * Peru–Bolivian Confederation (1836–1839) * Confederate States of America (1861–1865) * Confederate Ireland (1642–1652) * Federal State of Austria (1934–1938) * Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon (1961–1972) * United Provinces of Central America (1823 – circa 1838) * United States of Colombia (1863–1886) * Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1969–1992) * Republic of Kenya (1963–1964) * Federated Dutch Republic (1581–1795) * Federation of Ethiopia and Eritrea (1952–1962) * French Equatorial Africa (1910–1934) * French Indochina (1887–1954) * French West Africa (1904–1958) * Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) *
North German Confederation The North German Confederation (german: Norddeutscher Bund) was the Germans, German federal state which existed from July 1867 to December 1870. The Confederation came into existence after the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 over the lordship of tw ...
(1867–1871) *
German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biography Herbert Tuttle was born in Bennington, Vermont Bennington is a New England town, town ...
(1871–1918) *
Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exe ...

Austria-Hungary
(1867-1918) *
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933 when it functioned as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially named the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), ...
(1919–1933) * East Germany, German Democratic Republic (1949–1952) * Confederation of Madja-as (1200–1569) * United States of Indonesia (1949–1950) * United Kingdom of Libya (1951–1963) * Federated Malay States (1896–1946) *
Federation of Malaya The Federation of Malaya ( ms, Persekutuan Tanah Melayu; JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley c ...
(1948–1963) * Malayan Union (1946–1948) * Mali Federation (1959–1960) * Mengjiang, Mengjiang Autonomous United Government (1937–1945, since 1941 autonomous region of the Reorganized National Government of China) * Neogranadine Confederation, Confederation of New Granada (1858–1863) * Beiyang government, Republic of China (1912–1928) * Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795) * Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–1963) * Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1917–1991) * Soviet Union, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922–1991) * First Spanish Republic, Federal Republic of Spain (1873–1874) * Syrian Federation (1922–1925) * Congo-Léopoldville, Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) (1960–1964) * South Africa, Republic of South Africa (1961–1994) * Uganda, Republic of Uganda (1962–1967) * United Republic of Tanzania (1964–1965) * West Indies Federation (1958–1962) * Socialist Federal Republic of YugoslaviaThe Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially proclaimed in 1963. Prior to this, the communist Yugoslav state was named Democratic Federal Yugoslavia in 1943 and then Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946. See: Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. (1943–1992) * Serbia and Montenegro, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1992–2003) Some of the Confederation#Historical confederations, proclaimed Arab federations were confederations ''de facto''.


See also

*Anti-Federalism, an 18th-century movement in the United States *Independent city#Federal capitals, Capital city * Corporative federalism * Constitutional economics * Federalism in Australia * Federalist * ''The Federalist Papers'' * Federation of Australia * Foederati * International organization, International organisation * Międzymorze (Intermarum) * Multinational state * Neofunctionalism, Neo-functionalism * New federalism * Rule according to higher law * Supranationalism * Supranational union * World Federalist Movement * Centre for Studies on Federalism


References


External links

* {{Authority control Federal countries, Federalism, Federations, Constitutional state types Supraorganizations,