We live in the United States of America. We just don’t realize it. Oh, we know the name of our homeland, we just don’t know what it means to be a “United States.” You were probably raised in this country and had to memorize the States and their capitals in elementary school. Everyone knows what a State is, right? It’s that part of the address that keeps the city from running into the zip code. Right?
The definition of the word State, understood by the folk who coined the term “United States of America”, was much different than ours. The modern definition of State was unheard of in 1776. Jefferson and Company had studied the great governments of the past, the ones that worked, and the ones that didn’t. Many of them were “city states” or small, self-contained governments.
Wikipedia speaks of “…a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, independent from other states and powers, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state.”
The States, known to the founding fathers, were all self-governing nations, not serfdoms like our States now. They never meant for the Federal government to be a “nation.” It was supposed to be more of a “United Nations.” Each State was the true “nation,” each with its own government, laws and unalienable sovereignty.
The 10th Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States [read: Federal Government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Notice that the States do the proscribing, not the Federal government. The Federal government does not prohibit any power to the States but is instead denied powers by the States, powers that they reserve to themselves. The Federal government we are saddled with today is constantly denying States the ability to govern themselves according to their own conscience.
Imagine trying to explain to Thomas Jefferson that the Federal government was going to sue a sovereign State for the crime of protecting its own borders and inhabitants from a foreign intrusion. Or that the Federal government would confiscate 650 million acres of land from the States without due process. The government is currently sitting on land equal to nearly everything east of the Mississippi. That’s 2 acres for every man, woman and child in America. What could you do with your 2 acres? The Federal government is doing pretty much nothing with it right now.
Our current situation is completely reversed from the original intent of the Constitution. This country won’t work the way it was meant to until the States work the way the Founders envisioned them.