A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the United States, although four states use the official title "commonwealth". The separate state governments and the federal government share sovereignty, in that an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of residence. However, state citizenship is very flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states (with the exception of convicts on parole).
The United States Constitution allocates power between the two levels of government in general terms. By ratifying the Constitution, each state transfers certain sovereign powers to the federal government and agrees to share other powers. Under the Tenth Amendment, all powers not explicitly transferred or shared are retained by the states and the people. Historically, the tasks of public education, public health, transportation and other infrastructure have been considered primarily state responsibilities, although all have significant federal funding and regulation as well.
Over time, the Constitution has been amended, and the interpretation and application of its provisions have changed. The general tendency has been toward centralization, with the federal government playing a much larger role than it once did. There is a continuing debate over "states' rights," which concerns the extent and nature of the powers that the states have given to the federal government.
List of statesEdit
The following sortable table lists each of the 50 states of the United States of America with the following information:
- The official state name or names;
- The common state name;
- The pronunciation of the common state name represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA);
- The United States Postal Service (USPS) two-character state abbreviation
(also used as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Standard 3166-2 country subdivision code);
- The date the state ratified the United States Constitution or was admitted to the Union;
- The United States Census Bureau estimate of state population as of 2006-07-01;
- The state capital;
- The most populous incorporated place or census-designated place within the state as of 2005-07-01, as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau; and
- An image of the state flag.
Legal relationship Edit
Union as a single nation Edit
Upon the adoption of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the states became a confederation, a single sovereign political entity as defined by international law — empowered to levy war and to conduct international relations — albeit with a very loosely structured and inefficient central government. After the failure of the union under the Articles of Confederation, the thirteen states joined the modern union via the process of ratifying the United States Constitution, which took effect in 1789.
Relationship among the states Edit
Under Article IV of the Constitution, which outlines the relationship between the states, the United States Congress has the power to admit new states to the union. The states are required to give "full faith and credit" to the acts of each other's legislatures and courts, which is generally held to include the recognition of legal contracts, marriages, criminal judgments, and—at the time—slave status. States are prohibited from discriminating against citizens of other states with respect to their basic rights, under the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The states are guaranteed military and civil defense by the federal government, which is also required to ensure that the government of each state remains a republic.
The Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted the Constitution of the United States such that the commerce clause allows for a wide scope of federal power. For example, Congress can regulate railway traffic across state lines, but it may also regulate rail traffic solely within a state, on the theory that wholly intrastate traffic can still have an impact on interstate commerce.
Another source of Congressional power is its "spending power" -- the ability of Congress to allocate funds, for example to the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. The system is mandated and partially funded by the federal government but also serves the interests of the states. By threatening to withhold federal highway funds, Congress has been able to persuade state legislatures to pass a variety of laws. Although some object on the ground that this infringes on states' rights, the Supreme Court has upheld the practice as a permissible use of the Constitution's Spending Clause.
States are free to organize their state governments any way they like, as long as they conform to the sole requirement of the U.S. Constitution that they have "a Republican Form of Government". In practice, each state has adopted a three branch system of government generally along the sames lines as that of the federal government—though this is not a requirement. There is nothing that could stop a state from adopting a parliamentary system—with a fusion of powers, as opposed to a separation of powers—if it so chooses.
Despite the fact that each state has chosen to use the federal model to follow, there are some significant differences in some states. One of the most notable is that of the unicameral Nebraska Legislature, which unlike the legislatures of the other 49 states, has only one house. Some states, such as Florida, have in effect a plural executive, with members of the executive branch elected directly by the people and serving as equal members of the state cabinet alongside the governor. And only a few states choose to have their judicial branch leaders—their judges on the state's courts—serve for life terms.
The most substantial difference between states is that many rural states have part-time legislatures, while the states with the highest populations tend to have full-time legislatures. Texas, the second largest state in population, is a notable exception to this: excepting special sessions, the Texas Legislature is limited by law to 140 calendar days out of every two years. In Baker v. Carr, the U.S. Supreme Court held that all states are required to have legislative districts which are proportional in terms of population.
Also, states can organize their judicial systems differently from the federal judiciary, as long as due process is protected. See state court and state supreme court for more information. Most have a trial level court, generally called a District Court or Superior Court, a first-level appellate court, generally called a Court of Appeal (or Appeals), and a Supreme Court. However, Texas has a separate highest court for criminal appeals. New York is notorious for its unusual terminology, in that the trial court is called the Supreme Court. Appeals are then taken to the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and from there to the Court of Appeals. Most states base their legal system on British Common law, with the notable exception of Louisiana which is based partially on the French Civil law.
State lists Edit
- List of U.S. state capitals
- List of current and former capital cities within U.S. states
- List of U.S. states' largest cities
- List of U.S. states by date of statehood
- List of U.S. states that were never territories
- List of U.S. state name etymologies
- List of state legislatures in the United States
- List of U.S. states by area
- List of U.S. states by elevation
- List of U.S. states by GDP (nominal)
- List of U.S. states by GDP per capita (nominal)
- List of U.S. states by population
- List of U.S. states by population density
- List of U.S. states by time zone
- List of U.S. states by unemployment rate
- List of U.S. states by traditional abbreviation
- U.S. postal abbreviations
- U.S. state temperature extremes
- Codes: FIPS state code, ISO 3166-2:US
- Lists of U.S. state insignia
- List of U.S. state amphibians
- List of U.S. state beverages
- List of U.S. state birds
- List of U.S. state butterflies
- List of U.S. state colors
- List of U.S. state dances
- List of U.S. state dinosaurs
- List of U.S. state fish
- List of U.S. state flags
- List of U.S. state flowers
- List of U.S. state foods
- List of U.S. state fossils
- List of U.S. state grasses
- List of U.S. state insects
- List of U.S. state license plates
- List of U.S. state mammals
- List of U.S. state minerals, rocks, stones and gemstones
- List of U.S. state mottos
- List of U.S. state nicknames
- List of U.S. state reptiles
- List of U.S. state seals
- List of U.S. state slogans
- List of U.S. state soils
- List of U.S. state songs
- List of U.S. state sports
- List of U.S. state tartans
- List of U.S. state trees
- List of fictional U.S. states
- United States Declaration of Independence (text)
- Declaration of Independence (United States)
- United States Constitution
- Extreme points of the United States
- Geography of the United States
- List of regions of the United States
- Political divisions of the United States
- Organized incorporated territories of the United States
- United States territory
- United States territorial acquisitions
- List of U.S. counties that share names with U.S. states
- States' rights
- State Quarters
- 51st state
- Tables with areas, populations, densities and more (in order of population)
- Tables with areas, populations, densities and more (alphabetical)
- Origin of State Names
- Rick's Search Assistant - Web links & addresses for many state agencies, e.g., Motor Vehicles, Corporate Records, Attorneys General
- United States Postal Service
- State and Territorial Governments on FirstGov.gov
- StateMaster - statistical database for US States.
- ↑ "Official USPS Abbreviations" (HTML). United States Postal Service. 1998. http://www.usps.com/ncsc/lookups/abbreviations.html. Retrieved on 2007-02-26.
- ↑ "Table 1: Annual Estimates of the Population for the United States and States, and for Puerto Rico: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (CSV). 2006 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2006-12-22. http://www.census.gov/popest/states/tables/NST-EST2006-01.csv. Retrieved on 2007-02-26.
- ↑ "Annual Estimates of the Population for All Incorporated Places: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2005" (CSV). 2005 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2006-06-20. http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/files/SUB-EST2005-ip.csv. Retrieved on 2007-02-26.
- ↑ The Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic Combined Statistical Area is the most populous metropolitan area in Connecticut.
- ↑ The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area is the most populous metropolitan area in Florida.
- ↑ The United States Census Bureau estimates that, as of 2005-07-01, the population of the City of New Orleans was 454,863 and the population of the City of Baton Rouge was 222,064. After Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, New Orleans lost a significant portion of its population while the population of Baton Rouge increased substantially.
- ↑ Baltimore City and the 12 Maryland counties of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia Combined Statistical Area form the most populous metropolitan region in Maryland.
- ↑ The City of Saint Louis and the 8 Missouri counties of the St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington Combined Statistical Area form the most populous metropolitan region in Missouri.
- ↑ The 5 southeastern New Hampshire counties of the Boston-Worcester-Manchester Combined Statistical Area form the most populous metropolitan region in New Hampshire.
- ↑ The 13 northern New Jersey counties of the New York-Newark-Bridgeport Combined Statistical Area form the most populous metropolitan region in New Jersey.
- ↑ The Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area is the most populous metropolitan area in Ohio.
- ↑ The Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area is the most populous metropolitan area in South Carolina.
- ↑ The Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Columbia Combined Statistical Area is the most populous metropolitan area in Tennessee.
- ↑ The Dallas-Fort Worth Combined Statistical Area is the most populous metropolitan area in Texas.
- ↑ The 10 Virginia counties and 6 Virginia cities of the Washington-Baltimore-Northern Virginia Combined Statistical Area form the most populous metropolitan region in Virginia.
|States||Alabama · Alaska · Arizona · Arkansas · California · Colorado · Connecticut · Delaware · Florida · Georgia · Hawaii · Idaho · Illinois · Indiana · Iowa · Kansas · Kentucky · Louisiana · Maine · Maryland · Massachusetts · Michigan · Minnesota · Mississippi · Missouri · Montana · Nebraska · Nevada · New Hampshire · New Jersey · New Mexico · New York · North Carolina · North Dakota · Ohio · Oklahoma · Oregon · Pennsylvania · Rhode Island · South Carolina · South Dakota · Tennessee · Texas · Utah · Vermont · Virginia · Washington · West Virginia · Wisconsin · Wyoming|
|Federal District||Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia)|
|Insular Areas||American Samoa · Guam · Northern Mariana Islands · Puerto Rico · U.S. Virgin Islands|
|Outlying Islands||Baker Island · Howland Island · Jarvis Island · Johnston Atoll · Kingman Reef · Midway Atoll · Navassa Island · Palmyra Atoll · Wake Island|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at U.S. state. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Governance Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|