Where is "America" and what do we mean when we call America "the nation"?The United States is a union of states that is located on the continent of North America and on the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A more exact name for "the nation" would be, "The United States of North America and the Pacific Ocean." Whatever the name, the union has always had difficulty being one nation since it has been adding states since 1787, in all 37 new states. Has the actual history of America since the ratification of the Constitution been the construction of a nation or of a union of states? The Constitution takes some sovereign powers away from states and transfers them to the Federal Government but as a result no government in the union is fully sovereign and each must function by law as a democracy. The Constitution reduces the power that makes an American state a normal state, full sovereignty, and it does not grant even the status of a state to the Federal Government. The government in Washington D.C. is located in a district, not a state, and its sovereign powers are limited by the Constitution just as are the powers of states. In this book, twelve essays on American history explore the struggle for power between the states and the Federal Government and conclude that the central idea of the Constitution is that all governments of the union at any level must be democracies. The men who created the Constitution and the men who ratified it gambled that to have democratic governments in their states full sovereignty was not necessary. Their gamble has paid off to such an extent that our American political system, a union of states with limited sovereignty, is the only political system in the world that can realistically produce a union of democratic states worldwide. The Federal Government should give up trying to be the head of "the nation" and instead become the central supranational government of a world union of states. The Constitution gives Congress the power to admit new states. States worldwide should apply for admission to the American union in order to guarantee for themselves economic development and a democratic government. The United States of America should become The United States of the World in order to secure by a strong central government and a written constitution the right of its peoples to be citizens in any democratic state of their union where they choose to reside.
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About the Author
Daniel McNeill is a teacher and writer who lives in Massachusetts on the North Shore. His first book, The Theater Of The Impossible, situates baseball as a fundamental creation in American history that expresses as a game the universal conflicts of individuals struggling for their full and free development in modern societies. He believes that America alone has provided a stage where peoples from every race of humanity have gathered to face history without the aid of any conventional fixed identity. Humanity's revolutionary adventures in America inspire his passionate attention because they are one key to his own identity.