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What Is The Difference Between Confederations, Federations, And Unitary States? (Term Paper Sample)


Needs to include a thesis, arguments, a conclusion, and a Works Cited section. You must use at least 6 legitimate, mainstream sources with many proper citations throughout (you may use any legitimate citation standard, but do not mix and match formats). Use full and proper English titles for your Works Cited (you can add a URL if needed).


Difference between Confederations, Federations, and Unitary States
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Difference between Confederations, Federations, and Unitary States
There are three major systems of government used by different countries in the world. These are the confederation, federal or federation, and unitary systems. Each of these systems is a potentially successful way that can be used to structure a country. This paper discusses the difference between confederations, federations, and unitary states. The essay will explain that these systems mainly differ in terms of the amount of power that each of the three systems has given to the central government. What really distinguishes one system from another is the central government’s role within the state.
Confederation System
A confederation is understood as an alliance of states that are self-governing. This system of government is one in which the regional or state governments have more powers than the central government. The central government is weak and all of its powers are derived from the provincial or state governments (Coyne, 2017). It holds the powers to handle only those fields assigned to it by the member states. Ajzenstat (2014) noted that every regional or state government in a confederation has powers like those of an individual country. For example, they have the power to tax their citizens, handle diplomatic relationships with other nations, print their own currency, and even raise a military force. Under the Articles of Confederation, America was a confederation. Even so, the national government proved to be extremely weak and incapable of sustaining the rapidly growing nation. The country’s founding fathers thus had to shift to a federation when they drafted the Constitution.
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a modern instance of a confederation. It includes a number of countries which used to be part of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). These nations created a loose partnership for the purpose of enabling them to create a more powerful national body than each nation is able to maintain individually (Seehorn, 2016). Another example of a confederation is the canton system used in Switzerland. The European Union can also be viewed as a system of government that closely resembles a confederation system of government.
In a confederation, membership of the member states is voluntary. Every member state has sovereignty and the central government is accountable to the member states in the confederation that are, in fact, the ultimate authority. The central authority’s powers typically focus on joint defense and foreign policy issues, but will hardly ever hold the powers to do much more than that (Ajzenstat, 2014). In essence, the central authority is generally a weak body that is appointed by the member states.
The advantage of a confederation is that the governments focus on the needs of the populace in every state. Furthermore, the likelihood of dictatorship is virtually nil, and the governments are usually more in touch with the people (Seehorn, 2016). Also, a confederation keeps power at the local levels, which helps to prevent a large national government from growing. This system of government enables member states to retain their distinct identities. In addition, it allows a number of states or provinces to work together on issues of common concern (Coyne, 2017). Regrettably though, confederations have the tendency of breaking apart often by reason of internal power struggles as well as a lack of resources of a strong central authority. Moreover, there is a lack of common laws and unity among the member states. The central government is very weak, making it unable to collect taxes, enforce laws, run an economy or...

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