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Federal, Unitary & Confederate Government Systems: Home

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The three Systems

 Federal System

Power is shared by a powerful central government and states or provinces that are given considerable self-rule, usually through their own legislatures.
Examples: The United States, Australia, the Federal Republic of Germany.

Federal System

Unitary System

One central government controls weaker states. Power is not shared between states, counties, or provinces.
Examples: China, United Kingdom (although Scotland has been granted self-rule).
   
  

Unitary System

 Confederal System    

 

Weak or loose organization of states agrees to follow a powerful central government. Nations can choose to follow or not follow the lead of the weak central government. Examples: The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), formerly known as the Soviet Union. Also, Switzerland's canton system and the Confederate States of America (1861-1865).

Confederation System  

Click on the links here to read articles about the difference between confederation and federation and the difference between unitary and federal states from Encyclopedia Britannica.