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the act of .
the state of being .
a league or alliance.
a group of , especially of states more or less permanently united for common purposes.
the Confederation, the union of the 13 original U.S. states under the Articles of Confederation 1781–89.
(initial capital letter) the federation of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, formed in 1867 and constituting the Dominion of Canada.
Contemporary Examples

Instead, the two colonies were joined in a confederation, with separate legislatures.
What Canada’s History Teaches Us About the Feasibility of the One-State Paradigm Bernard Avishai September 23, 2013

The more daring among them even talk about federation or confederation, possibly including the Kingdom of Jordan.
One State Can Be a Credible Alternative Daniel Gavron September 26, 2013

The Articles of confederation had required nine of the 13 states to pass most items, and it was a disaster.
Going Nuclear Michael Tomasky November 21, 2013

I saw it in “Quotation”, a group show at the confederation Center of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Reflecting on Genius Blake Gopnik October 17, 2013

Historical Examples

The people were dissatisfied with the confederation, not with republicanism.
The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858 Various

The confederation of Arras was proclaimed on January 6, 1579.
Belgium Emile Cammaerts

About this time the articles of confederation were ratified.
The Life of George Washington, Vol. 3 (of 5) John Marshall

This was the first important effort to bring about a Colonial confederation.
The Greatest Highway in the World Anonymous

Of this confederation, Turkey would be an integral and essential part.
World’s War Events, Vol. I Various

By February, 1779, all the other states had ratified the articles of confederation.
The Critical Period of American History John Fiske

the act or process of confederating or the state of being confederated
a loose alliance of political units. The union of the Swiss cantons is the oldest surviving confederation Compare federation
(esp in Canada) another name for federation
(US, history) the Confederation, the original 13 states of the United States of America constituted under the Articles of Confederation and superseded by the more formal union established in 1789
the federation of Canada, formed with four original provinces in 1867 and since joined by eight more

early 15c., “act of confederating,” from Middle French confédération, from Old French confederacion (14c.), from Late Latin confoederationem (nominative confoederatio), noun of action from confoederare (see confederate). Meaning “states or persons united by a league” is from 1620s.

A group of nations or states, or a government encompassing several states or political divisions, in which the component states retain considerable independence. The members of a confederation often delegate only a few powers to the central authority.

Note: The United States was governed as a confederation in the first few years of its independence (see Articles of Confederation).

Note: Canada is officially a confederation of provinces.


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  • Confederative

    pertaining to or characteristic of a confederation. Contemporary Examples What was the joint body that would deal with this third party if not a confederative institution? How The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Became The World’s Greatest Bore Bernard Avishai April 15, 2013 Well, what was that projected municipality if not a confederative institution? How The Israeli-Palestinian […]

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    action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices, etc. correspondence in form, nature, or character; agreement, congruity, or accordance. compliance or acquiescence; obedience. (often initial capital letter) compliance with the usages of an established church, especially the Church of England. Geology. the relationship between adjacent strata. Compare (def 2a). Contemporary Examples This view is […]

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    an adherent of the teachings of . Also called Ju. a member of the school of philosophers, founded by , who codified in their teachings the traditional Chinese principles of ethics, morals, and politics. of, relating to, or resembling the teachings of . Contemporary Examples U.S.-China relations could certainly stand a little Confucian “rectification.” Find […]

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