Virtual Kollage: The features of the Confederal system of Government

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The features of the Confederal system of Government

Confederate Flag, Flag, Confederate
CONFEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Definition
A confederation can be described as a group of independent states that come together in the form of a flexible federation where more power is retained by the regional units than the central government.

In 1981, Gambia and Senegal came together to form the Senegambia Confederation which later collapsed in 1989.

FEATURES OF A CONFEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Weak Central Government
One of the features of a confederation is that the central government is usually weak while the component units are rather strong. The powers that are delegated to the central government are usually fewer and less serious.

Power sharing
In a confederation, the component states are vested with exclusive powers, especially foreign affairs, while the residual powers are reserved for the central government.

Status of component units
Under a confederal system of government, the component states are allowed to remain as separate international entities. Therefore, it retains the power to handle its own foreign policy. This is unlike in a federal system where such powers are reserved exclusively for the central government.

Abraham Lincoln, Bronze Statue, Virginia
Units provide resources to defend the union
Another feature of a confederal government is that the confederal government depends upon the component states to contribute soldiers and resources to defend the confederation.

Membership 
Another feature of a confederation is that it is made up of two or more independent states. The Senegambian Confederation, for example, was made up of two independent countries.

Loyalty to component units 
In a confederal system of government, the citizens tend to be loyal to the component states rather than the central government. This is in spite of the fact that the central government controlled the two levels of government.

Right of Secession
Unlike in the federal system of government where the right of secession is denied, in a confederation, the constitution allows for any of the component units to secede at any time if it so desires.

ALSO READ:
The advantages of a confederal system of government
The disadvantages of a confederal system of government

SAMPLE QUESTION(S)
1 a. What is a confederal system of government?
   b. Highlight five features of a confederal system of government.

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