Defining 'America'

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this July 4 holiday, I see countless columns claiming to define
what “America means”; however in this sense they seem to mean re-defining,
since they don’t seem to know what it means in the first place.

To begin with “America” is not a country, it is a continent;
and there are two of them, North and South. Second, the states were
declared to be "free and independent,” not subdivisions of
a greater sovereign nation.

As such, the term “United States of America” did not, as modern
revisionists claim, refer to various districts joining to form a
single nation called “America” – any more than, say, the United
Nations of Europe joined to form a single nation called “Europe,”
or the United Nations formed a single nation called the “United

Rather,  as I illustrated in my article “Were
the States Sovereign Nations?
” each state was declared a separate,
sovereign nation unto itself – and remained as such, while
the term “America” simply referred to the continent of residence
(with the prefix “North” in North America” dropped for reasons of
brevity; if South Americans likewise created a “United States” then
this would create some confusion: however this didn’t seem likely
at that time – or indeed the present time).

These “states” were declared and united under the presupposition
that centralized power – even in a democratically controlled
republic – was a bad thing; in fact, they had just broken away
from such a system, in which democratically-elected parliamentary
leaders subjected them to oppressive exploitation – as a recent
leader put it, “because they could.”

For this reason, the states remained separate nations, and merely
agreed to abide by certain common “by-laws” such as the Articles
of Confederation, and later the Constitution, which were negotiated
within the nation’s capital – but by which no state was bound
to obey under force of law, being once again free and independent

In addition to preserving each state’s separate identity and unique
heritage, this freedom and independence was maintained in order
to prevent a repeat-performance of the prior fiasco which “impelled
the separation,” by simply preserving the power of every state to
refuse such federal mandates which were deemed opposite a state’s
best interests; contrary to recent historical revision, each state
remained supreme and inviolate unto itself, just as per the founding
premise that each and every person was equally endowed by a supreme
creator with inalienable rights.

In this manner, a federal majority would be precluded from oppressing
the states, simply by lacking any legal power to do so: if, for
example, the 13 states had suddenly voted 12:1 that the entire state
of New York and its inhabitants were to become the sole property
of the remaining states to do with as they pleased (with only New
York voting naturally against it),  then, even though the action
would be perfectly legal (the Constitution could always be amended
afterward), then  New York would still be under no legal obligation
to comply under threat of force. Rather, the bounds of national
sovereignty would continue to apply, just as with any other nation,
regardless of how other nations “vote.”

Likewise, the state of New York would be fully within its legal
authority to secede from the Union – which  it was likewise
at liberty to do for any reason it so chose, being once again a
separate entity free from supreme oversight of its internal affairs
by any other.

If, on the other hand, the state were subject to federal approval
of such refusal or secession, then this would present a definite
oxymoron with regard to protection from federal oppression.

history has overturned this ideal order, with nature taking its
course in terms of the strong dominating the weak, rather than the
ideal “good vs. evil”; simply put, the states were conquered under
a grand ploy of deception regarding this original system of healthy
inviolate boundaries between them, and claiming that such was neither
ever intended or even necessary, under the claim in Lincoln’s First

As such, the United States now no longer exists as “united states”;
rather, it is now simply a single entity known as “America”
whose state-boundaries are now secondary, and which  exists
as a shell of its former self. It is no longer a land of peace and
prosperity, except what little can be maintained in an atmosphere
of violence and hostile competition as its inhabitants fight for
freedom against one another, each struggling via the law of the
jungle to “tax or be taxed, regulate or be regulated.” This is only
possible in an oppressive, captive environment, which the original
system was created to preclude; the only solution, it seems, is
to restore this former system, ending federal supremacy and once
again restoring supreme sovereignty to the states as a check on
such federal excess.

5, 2004

McCandliss [send him mail]
is a business and economics graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg,
VA, a law student, and a businessman in Detroit, Michigan.

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