Encyclopedia > Confederation

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A confederation is a large state composed of many self-governing reigons. Unlike a federation, a confederation has a very weak central government with little influence over the actions or policies of the member regions. However, on certain key issues, such as defense or currency, the central government will be required to provide support for all members.

Traditional confederation style government has been rare in modern history, although many countries have identifed themselves as such (ie: German Confederation, Canadian Confederation, etc). The term "confederation" is thus frequently misused as a synonym of "federation."

The best examples of modern day confederations can be found in the governments of Switzerland and the European Union. Both feature very weak central governments, and allow for great powers of self-government for the member regions.

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