Black's Law Dictionary Quote

“A national government is a government of the people of a single state or nation, united as a community by what is termed the 'social compact,’ and possessing complete and perfect supremacy over persons and things, so far as they can be made the lawful objects of civil government. A federal government is distinguished from a national government by its being the government of a community of independent and sovereign states, united by compact.”

~ Black's Law Dictionary

Piqua Branch Bank v. Knoup, 6 Ohio St. 393. [Black's Law Dictionary, Revised Fourth Edition, 1968, p. 1176]

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

A compact is somewhat different than a contract. A compact, in its more general sense, signifies a simple agreement. In a strict sense, a compact may import a contract between parties, which creates obligations capable of being enforced. The compact between the community of independent and sovereign states forming the United States, is by general agreement, distinguishing the U.S.'s Federal Government from a National Government. There is no contract between any one State and the body of States united that would disqualify cession from the body (at least as far as I can find) This definition seems to lean a little heavy on the contract aspect of a compact.

J Carlton, Calgary

Beware the word "persons" in legalese. It also means a corporation, which is what you are treated as when paying taxes. And that's because it is unethical and probably illiegal to tax an individual. Its called the "strawman" effect. You're registration number as a corporation is your S.S. number. (SIN in Canada)

Waffler, Smith

Quote is either wrong or simply outdated by 276 years. By this definition the USA is not a federal government because the individual states are not soverign. They maybe soverign concerning internal affairs to some extent but they cannot abuse their citizens in contravention of the constitution nor can the leave the Union. It would appear that the USA is a mix of a federal government and a national government at least according to Black's.

jim k, austin

The USA today is a country run by a bunch of crazies that simply want to control every aspect of your life. Since we are all to stupid to know what to eat or drink, what to drive, where to set our thermostats, etc., Big Brother will tell us. Since the stimulus bill was passed, about two and a half million people don't have to get up and go to those pesky jobs they once had. "Happy days are here again".

Logan, Memphis, TN

The quote is accurate enough, it's just that people's understandings have so thoroughly changed over even the last 50 years that the prostitution of our language has changed societal thought. Our Universities and schools do not teach the old definitions or understandings, because they are struggling to even keep up with helping describe how things currently operate. It is only ignorance that believes that such current understandings have been in place even over the last 50 years -- let alone the last "276 years". The "Pledge of Allegiance" is wrong, insomuch as it states "One nation... indivisible" -- at least to the foundational ideas of the foundation of our government. The Pledge, however, is perfectly in line with current social standards of thought, in that we believe we're just one big "state", "entity", or "nation" and that the States themselves are just glorified territories under the all-powerful central sovereign. This current understanding flies in the face of the 9th and 10th Amendments, but who really reads those anyway?

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Anon    7/1/09

You're right Logan and that's where Waffler gets the idea the SOVEREIGN states can't leave the union.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, maybe you can help me out. I haven't found anywhere, where a State signed an enforceable agreement that eliminates any ability under any circumstances to leave their association with other States in the Constitutional federal government. Where did you find those 50 documents?

E Archer, NYC

This distinction is not made in today's 'national' government. Few know the difference, and Washington, D.C. ever furthers this 'nationalist' ideal along with so-called 'democracy.' Suckers for 'democracy' and party sycophants have NO idea how they are colluding with power hungry unchecked politicos who scheme for another chunk of our labors and the fruits thereof. You can twist words all you want, but it doesn't change the truth. It doesn't surprise me that Waffler thinks that this quote 'wrong or outdated'. ;-) I didn't realize that the Constitution had an expiration date... ?

Waffler, Smith

Well Mike it is a little bit like marriage. Have you ever heard of a marriage ceremony in which the parties say "I take you until death do us part or until I don't want you anymore". No state ever joined the Union under the idea that "well let us try it for awhile to see if we like it". Such a fainted hearted step is no true Union at all. If the founders, the Adames and the Hancocks had been so fainted hearted we never would have had indedpendence. I will give you more about legalith later. Most of the states of course had the option to join the union or not but those in the West whether or not they joined the land belonged to the Union.

Waffler, Smith

Mike your arguments I find generally are not part of the legal regime (constitutional regime) under which this Union was founded. I mean if a state wishes to secede and take up arms, I guess they have a "God given" right to try but under the Constitutional system they do not. The Constitution describes the ways in which a state joins it states no provisions on how it can leave. The door swings only one way. The Supreme Court handled the question in 1868 in Texas Vs. White. Not only is their no right to secede unilaterally, their is no provision for the Union to expel a state, and no provision for a state and the Union to part via mutual agreement. Check out this site for a good discussion:

Waffler, Smith

PS: I bet if 49 states were making a hue and cry to expel one of the others. The way facing expulsion would be pissed.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, I'm sure you find my arguments inconsistent with the the current illegal / unconstitutional regime, as it differs greatly from the federally united sovereign bodies that originally joined together to form a more perfect union. Now that the more perfect union has been replaced by a singular despot, in the form of a socialistic theocracy, where votes don't count and the courts are corrupt, how do we re-unite? The Constitution was /is a document that organizes a free association of political bodies and limitations on that united body by authorizing only specific positive law actions. The representative republic's constitution did not, by specific intention, address the individual sovereign or his instate associations or operations. By design, The Constitution outlined the qualifications for entering the association, but did not address the leaving of that association because it was not of anyone else's concern (It was/is a We The People, of each common law venue, to decide with whom we will associate). Texas v. White is the premier case used to discredit cession but, it only shows that the supreme court can unconstitutionally legislate that which never was, is, or will be. The main argument was over bonds that were paid to the independent sovereign republic of Texas (before entering the US) over boarder disputes with the US. The supreme courts decision basically said since Texas accepted US bonds, they were from that point forward an eternally captured servant. Texas v. White denies your claim that the US is a democracy. If the Texas v. White decision is correct, that means Texas and all Texans were purchased and the majority vote to enter and exit the United States was only an exercise in futility and the Constitution no longer limits the Federal government. Further, the Constitution does not allow the federal government to form a State's government or interfere in Constitutionally silent topics. Of course you would think that about a majority (49) of states. But, again, it is 50 States united; one sovereign State (individually or in concert) can not dictate to another State, the Constitution also forbids it. Only in your fascist theocracy could that happen. Again, were are the 50 documents from each sovereign expression of We The People's States that declare, once the United States no longer exists, as was originally defined in the compact as outlined in the Constitution, where justice is a fleeting memory, where domestic tranquility is being made impossible, where common defense is demonized and is systemically being taken away, where the government welfare is being bankrupt, where the laws of nature and of nature's God are attacked and abandon, where unalienable rights are subject to the mob, where life, liberty, and property are defiled by the state, where the socialistic theocracy has become destructive to all that which was the foundation of this once great nation, where absolute despotism by design pursues a long train of abuses and usurpations, where compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes and governmental larceny becomes the norm, this one people cannot dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth another association that will once again form a more perfect union.

Waffler, Smith

You are a revolutionary Mike. I only read your first two sentences. I am not interested in someone who is not part of this Constitutional law system. We have nothing to talk about.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, what Constitutional law system ? ? ? I've read the de jure natural law based Constitution replacing the Confederation. Where is this Constitution of the current system now enslaving a once free people ? The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land (complete with its system) has nothing to do with the original States united Constitution, the federal government thereto, or . . . ALSO ! ! ! only an individual person can be sovereign ! A state (local to . . ., can only be sovereign by representing an individual sovereign's rights (for example; even though Massachusetts is a commonwealth, it is only sovereign when it represents the sovereign rights of the individual(s) that live there - no individual right(s), no state sovereignty, only forced tyranny)..

cal, lewisville, tx

Since Lincoln, JFK, and LBJ along with the Earl Warren and Warren Burger Supreme Court of the Universe-it is no longer the United States but the Federal Democrat State of Amerika.


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