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A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority. The body of rules and principles governing the affairs of a community and enforced by a political authority; a legal system: international law. The condition of social order and justice created by adherence to such a system: a breakdown of law and civilized behavior. A set of rules or principles dealing with a specific area of a legal system: tax law; criminal law. A piece of enacted legislation. What is Law?

U.S. state

A U.S. State is any one of the fifty states which is a member of the
federation known as the United States of America. Sovereignty is divided
between the individual states and the federal government. Under the United
States Constitution, the federal government can legislate only on matters
explicitly delegated to it by the Constitution, with the remaining
governmental powers belonging to the states.

List of states

The states, with their US postal abbreviations and capitals, are:
                                   * MT Montana - Helena
                                   * NC North Carolina -
   * AL Alabama - Montgomery         Raleigh
   * AK Alaska - Juneau            * ND North Dakota -
   * AZ Arizona - Phoenix            Bismarck
   * AR Arkansas - Little Rock     * NE Nebraska - Lincoln
   * CA California -               * NV Nevada - Carson City
     Sacramento                    * NH New Hampshire -
   * CO Colorado - Denver            Concord
   * CT Connecticut - Hartford     * NJ New Jersey - Trenton
   * DE Delaware - Dover           * NM New Mexico - Santa Fe
   * FL Florida - Tallahassee      * NY New York - Albany
   * GA Georgia - Atlanta          * OH Ohio - Columbus
   * HI Hawaii - Honolulu          * OK Oklahoma - Oklahoma
   * ID Idaho - Boise                City
   * IL Illinois - Springfield     * OR Oregon - Salem
   * IN Indiana - Indianapolis     * PA Pennsylvania -
   * IA Iowa - Des Moines            Harrisburg
   * KS Kansas - Topeka            * RI Rhode Island -
   * KY Kentucky - Frankfort         Providence
   * LA Louisiana - Baton          * SC South Carolina -
     Rouge                           Columbia
   * ME Maine - Augusta            * SD South Dakota - Pierre
   * MD Maryland - Annapolis       * TN Tennessee - Nashville
   * MA Massachusetts - Boston     * TX Texas - Austin
   * MI Michigan - Lansing         * UT Utah - Salt Lake City
   * MN Minnesota - Saint Paul     * VT Vermont - Montpelier
   * MS Mississippi - Jackson      * VA Virginia - Richmond
   * MO Missouri - Jefferson       * WA Washington - Olympia
     City                          * WV West Virginia -
                                     Charleston
                                   * WI Wisconsin - Madison
                                   * WY Wyoming - Cheyenne

In addition to the states, several other areas belong to the United States:

   * AS American Samoa
   * DC District of Columbia, which is the seat of the Federal government
   * GU Guam
   * MP Northern Mariana Islands, Commonwealth
   * PR Puerto Rico, Commonwealth
   * VI the U.S. Virgin Islands
   * Midway Islands
   * Guantanamo Bay (the US has "complete jurisdiction and control" under a
     lease from Cuba, which retains ultimate sovereignty)

For a complete list of dependent areas and other territory under current or
former control of the US, see United States Dependent areas.

Unlike states the authority to rule those areas comes not from the people of
those areas but from the Federal government, however in most cases Congress
has granted a large amount of self-rule.

History

Upon the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain, there were 13
states. States can be admitted to the Union by Congress.

The Constitution is silent on the issue of the secession of a state from the
United States. The Civil War was fought to prevent states from leaving the
Union. Some people claim that it is still not established whether any state
can secede legally.

Various facts about the states

   * Four of the states are called formally commonwealths: Kentucky,
     Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In these cases, this is a
     merely a name and has no legal impact. However, the United States has
     non-state areas called commonwealths (Puerto Rico and the Northern
     Marianas) which do have a legal status different from the states.

   * "Georgia" is the name of both a U.S. state and an independent country
     in Caucasia.

   * "New York" is all three: a state, a county in that state, and a city in
     that state.

   * "Washington" is a state, a city corresponding to the District of
     Columbia (and thus not part of any state), and a number of cities and
     counties in various states. The state Washington is the only one named
     after a U.S. President (or after a person born within the U.S., for
     that matter).

   * One state upon joining the United States retained the right to divide
     itself into up to four separate states. This was a condition of the
     statehood of Texas.

   * Only two states have state capitals named for the state (however, this
     is a very common practice with states and provinces in other countries,
     where the state or province is actually often named after the capital
     city): Oklahoma, with capital Oklahoma City, and Indiana, with capital
     Indianapolis (which means Indiana City).

   * State names speak to the circumstances of their creation.
        o Southern states on the Atlantic coast were former British colonies
          named after British monarchs: Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia,
          and Maryland. Some northeastern states, also former British
          colonies, are named after English counties: New Hampshire, New
          Jersey, New York.
        o Many later states were named after indigenous Indian tribes:
          Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Mississippi, and more.
        o Southern states have Spanish names since these territories were
          originally controlled by Spain or Mexico: California Florida,
          Nevada, Texas, and perhaps Arizona.

Grouping of the states in regions

States may be grouped in regions. This is not official, definitions vary,
see the separate articles. They are:

   * The West
   * The Southwest
   * The Midwest (in the north, and with respect to east-west direction in
     the middle)
   * The South (actually southeast)
   * Mid-Atlantic States
   * New England (the extreme northeast)
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