When referring to The United States of America, President Lincoln called it a union, not a state or country. Lincoln said, “I do not expect the Union to be dissolved.” We have been mistakenly taught in schools, through songs, and elsewhere that the USofA is a nation or country, when it is really a union, confederation, or federation. We have also been taught we are federal citizens, rather than state citizens. This matters because most federal statutes do not apply to state citizens.
The Constitution for The USofA starts with, “in order to form a more perfect union…” It does not say, in order to form a more perfect state or country.
The United States code, in section 28 U.S. Code § 297, says the 50 states are ‘compact states’ and ‘countries’. This section deals with federal judges serving as judges for one of the states:
- Subsection (b) says, “reimbursement from the countries referred to in subsection (a)”.
- Subsection (a) says, “… serve temporarily as a judge of any duly constituted court of the freely associated compact states whenever an official duly authorized by the laws of the respective compact state requests such assignment.”
The U.S. Government Style Manual lists the nationalities for the natives of these states/countries. The nationalities are Alabamian, Louisianian, Ohioans, and 47 others. The natives are citizens of their respective state, or state citizens.
The Articles of Confederation, which preceded the constitution, and is still law, has ‘confederation’–not ‘state’ or ‘country’–in the title. This is because The USofA is confederation, federation, or union. Note that the root of ‘confederation’ is ‘federation’. Both federations, as I see it.
The USofA is not even a republic. There is a story about someone asking a founding father at Philadelphia, “What do we have?” He may have replied, “You have a republic, if you can keep it.” In the constitution, the word ‘republic’ is only used in reference to the States in the Union: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,…” Each of the States is a republic, but the USofA is not. It’s a federation.
Bouvier’s Law Dictionary defines ‘federal’ to mean a ‘league or compact between two or more states.’ In other words, the Constitution for The USofA is a treaty of sorts. Here’s the definition:
FEDERAL, government. This term is commonly used to express a league or compact between two or more states.
2. In the United States the central government of the Union is federal. The constitution was adopted “to form a more perfect union” among the states, for the purpose of self-protection and for the promotion of their mutual happiness.
The definition does have the word ‘central’ which otherwise might mean one state, but the definition specifically states the ‘central’ government is a government of the Union, not one state. Union, compact, league, federal…all the same. Someone wrote that ‘federal’ means ‘contract’ as in a ‘contract government’; though I can’t find anything on the Web to support this.
The Pledge of Allegiance perpetuates the myth that The USofA is a republic, starting with, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic…” The flag represents a union of republics, not a single republic.
The pledge goes on to say, “one nation, under god.” This is false, unless I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘nation’. I have seen the word ‘nation’ used as ‘nation-state’ to differentiate a nation-state from a city-state, which is smaller. Each of the 50 states is a nation-state.
The so-called Civil War was not a ‘civil war’ because The USofA is union not a state/country. ‘Civil war’ implies two groups within one state fighting for control of the one state. The so-called Civil War was an international war. Once the Southern states left the Union, they were as foreign to the Northern states as Mexico. If the Northern States fought Mexico, no one would call it a Civil War.
If the states within the United Nations started a war with each other, that would not be a civil war either because the UN is just an association. The ‘Civil War’ label helps support the myth that The USofA is one (nation) state.
Songs such as My Country, ‘Tis of Thee also perpetuate the myth. It would be more accurate to say “My Union, tis of thee.” What is the national anthem for Nevada? Or for Pennsylvania? They existed as colonies long before the creation of the union.
The Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the War of Independence from the United Kingdom (also a union), calls the states sovereign and independent states (plural).
His Brittanic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states… [Read a more about the treaty.]
The responsibilities for the union, The USofA, were so few that the congress originally met in early December and adjourned later that month. They only had about two weeks of work. The 20th amendment moved the start date to early January. Legislating the entire year implies the congress is managing a nation-state, rather than a union.
Constitution: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
Amendment 20. Sec. 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
The union is vitally important when the union goes to war with another state. In war, the union flag matters and the federal congress matters. In war, all the states of the union coordinate to fight as one. Perpetual wars, such as the ‘War on Terrorism’ and the Cold War, have encouraged state citizens to mistakenly think the states officially combined into a larger entity. There are still 50 free and sovereign nation-states.
Does thou think the European Union is a nation-state? Give it time and all the people in the member states, such as France, will think they are ‘European Citizens’ and forget they are French, meaning French state citizens.
The EU has a congress and will soon have an army. It has or will have patriotic, nationalistic songs. It has a flag. The EU flag will be flown, while the state flags will gradually be lowered and folded up. Don’t think this will happen? This is what happened to the 50 states of North America. Where are the state flags? Why aren’t state flags hanging from their front porches?
The USofA is a union but most mistakenly think it is a nation-state. If only the USofA were called the ‘American Union’, then it would be harder to convince people it was a nation-state.
When discussing the Israel-Arab conflict, some people propose a “two-state solution”. They don’t say a “two-country solution”. Two states means two sovereign states, emphasis on sovereign.
Mexico and Germany may not be nation-states either because Germany and Mexico are comprised of states. As far as I can tell, a state cannot be comprised of states. That may like saying a country is comprised of countries. On Wikipedia, Germany is referred to as a federated organization of states. The same Wikipedia entry also likely incorrectly refers to this federation as a nation-state. In 1823, Mexico was called the United Mexican States. Again, it is a group or association of States, not a nation-state.
Everyone gets so riled up about whether the president of The USofA is a democrat or republican. He or she is only president of the union. What matters is one’s state. Or at least it used to matter until the state accepted federal handouts and simultaneously agreed to federal mandates.
If federal politics aggravate thee, revitalize the sovereignty of thy state government. The 10th Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Each state has state citizens
Now that I have shown The USofA is not a state or country, I hope it will be easier to see that the citizens of the 50 states are citizens of their respective states, first. And this makes them citizens of The USofA. The State Citizen differs from the U.S. Citizens, who is a federal citizen, first. Federal/U.S. citizens are people born in the territories such as Puerto Rico and also the 14th Amendment citizens who are decedents of formerly enslaved men.
An interesting book says, “This compact [the constitution] created a union of states, not a union of people. The people are not members of the union; only the states are members. This is a critical concept: one is a citizen of his state; national citizenship is derived from state citizenship.”
The book continues, “Prior to the Civil War, there really was not a true concept of “citizen of the United States”. In the strictest sense, everyone was simply a citizen of the state where he lived, and naturalization was a state process.”
As specified in the Northwest Ordinance, The USofA, the union, manages the territories of the 13 united states. The people in those territories are federal citizens or also called U.S. Citizens. When a form asks if thou is a U.S. citizen, it is asking if thou was born in a territory or if thou is a 14th Amendment citizen (a descendant of enslaved men). These people, and others, are subjects of or subject to the federation. I have also seen the phrase citizen-subject.
When the constitution says ‘been seven years a Citizen of the United States’, it means a citizen of one of the 13 united states. Not a citizen of the union. It would be impossible to have been seven years a Citizen of some fictitious nation-state called The USofA, because The USofA was being created at that moment. It’s worth repeating that Citizen of the United States means one is citizen of one of the 13 states. One is a Virginian or Texan. One is not an ‘American’ which technically means nothing.
The label ‘Citizen of the United States’ as stated in the constitution is not the same as ‘U.S. citizen’. The former is a state citizen. The latter is a federal citizen, such as a Puerto Rican.
Pop quiz: Can a Coloradan lawfully smoke cannabis? Yes. Can the federal government stop him or her? No, unless that man or woman claims to be a federal U.S. citizen. A Puerto Rican cannot smoke cannabis in Colorado because a Puerto Rican was born in a territory of the USofA and is therefore a federal U.S. citizen and must abide by the statutes of the federal congress.
Since The USofA is not a state, why would federal agencies have jurisdiction over land or events within one of the 50 United States? Why would the FBI investigate a crime committed within a state? This is like the UN coming to investigate something in Vermont. The UN does not have jurisdiction. The federal government does not have jurisdiction either. But if no one objects, that would be acceptance by acquiescence or possibly waiving rights.
Since thy state is actually a nation-state, if one wants to hoist a flag, one would absolutely fly the state flag first. National pride would be pride in one’s state, not the USofA. One could also fly the USofA flag, if one were sending a message to states worldwide or if one also felt proud of the 50-state union as well.
Now that most state citizens have been duped into thinking they are federal U.S. citizens, the next step will either be to convince them they are citizens of a North American union with Canada and Mexico or convince people they are citizens of the world.
Next up: World Citizen
The Hollywood propaganda machine has started mentioning this concept called a ‘citizen of the world’. See the Men in Black International trailer where a main character says, “We’ve been compromised. [This] puts every citizen of this planet at risk.” Maybe that is why the word ‘international’ is in the title. They want us to root for an international body and claim to be citizens of this body. Watch out, then thou will need to follow the statutes of this international federation or association.
The people of a state can of course agree to become subjects of an association and make their state subject to an association in all affairs. The people of the 13 United States, now 50, did not do this. They delegated specific activities to the union congress and reserved all other powers to the states or the people, as stated in the 10th amendment.
Now that thou knows The USofA is not a country or state or nation, I hope it will be easier to know that thou is a state citizen and not beholden to most of the statutes of the federal government (the government for the federation). Thou can and must say, “Sorry, I am not a U.S. citizen. I am a state citizen. I am not subject to or a subject of the United States, in Congress Assembled, per the 14th Amendment.”
Then starting singing the national anthem of thy home state while waiving the state flag.
Postscript: Some administrative steps are likely needed to undo any times thou has consented to being called a U.S./Federal citizen. But, take heart, one can’t claim to be something one is not.
More to learn:
- The United States Is Not a Nation! – By Brian of the McClanahan Family
- Affidavit for passport, by Roger Sayles
- Don’t go Northwest (Ordinance)
- U.S. of A. v U.S.: The Loss of Legal Memory of the American State
- Their Rules are Irrelevant – This site’s introduction
- Law dictionary cover: USA differs from States of the Union
- European Union actions may mimic how perception of united States was changed
- Subject to… About that 14th Amendment
- Gary This is Keven – Eliminating U.S. Citizen Status
- A list of all blog posts