Free state is a term occasionally used in the official titles of some states throughout the world with varying meanings depending on the context. In principle, the title asserts and emphasises a particular freedom of the state in question, but this is not always reflected in practice. Some states use the title to assert sovereignty or independence from foreign domination, while others have used it to assert autonomy within a larger nation-state. Sometimes "free state" is used as a synonym for "republic".
The republican sense of the term derives from libera res publica (literally, "the free public thing/affair"), a term used by Roman historians for the period of the Roman Republic, though not all "free states" have been republics. The historical German free states and the Orange Free State of Southern Africa were republican in form, however the Congo Free State and Irish Free State were governed under forms of monarchy.
English Parliament, in the act forming the Commonwealth of England of 1649 to 1660, declared that "England is confirmed to be a Commonwealth and Free State and shall from henceforth be Governed as a Commonwealth and Free State."The Commonwealth had a republican constitution.
In Germany, the term free state (in German, Freistaat) comes from the 19th century as a German word for republic. After the German Revolution of November 1918, when Imperial Germany became a democratic republic, most of the German states within the German Reich called themselves a Free State. Others used expressions like Republik or Volksstaat (people's state) – though unpopular, as that term was associated with the enemy France. According to the Versailles Treaty, Danzig was split off from Germany in 1919, becoming the Freie Stadt Danzig.
After the Nazis came to power, they abolished the concept of a federal republic and all the states and re-organized Germany into Gaue , with appointed leadership.
The states were re-established within the reduced German borders after World War II; however, from 1952 only Bavaria (successor (but not de jure) to the Kingdom of Bavaria) still called itself a Free State and that made Freistaat a synonym for Bavaria. After the reunification, the reestablished Saxony (successor (but not de jure) to the Kingdom of Saxony) used the name again in 1992 and Thuringia began to use it for the first time in 1993.
Historically, Germany had Imperial Free Cities, who were subject only to the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1871 Germany knew three Free Cities, Hamburg, Bremen and Lübeck; the last lost its status in 1937. Since 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany has Hamburg (Freie und Hansestadt, Free and Hanseatic City) and Bremen (Freie Hansestadt), as well as Berlin, as a city which is also a state. Like the Free States these three cities have no special rights in the federation.
In South Africa, the term free state was used in the title of the nineteenth century Orange Free State (Oranje Vrystaat in Afrikaans) and is today used in the title of its successor, Free State; both entities were established as republican in form.
In contrast, the Congo Free State came into being between 1877 and 1884 as a private kingdom or dictatorship of King Leopold II of Belgium. In this case, the term free emphasised the new state's freedom from major colonial powers and the Belgian parliament, as the colony was ruled only by the king.
The Irish Free State of 1922–1937 was a form of constitutional monarchy under the British monarch. the term free state was deliberately chosen as a literal translation of the Irish word saorstát. At the time in which Irish nationalists (who generally favoured a republican form of state) were negotiating the secession of most of Ireland from the United Kingdom, the word saorstát was a commonly used Irish-language word for republic. The British did not wish to permit the creation of an Irish republic (which would mean severing all links with the British crown) and so insisted that the literal translation of saorstát be used in the new state's English title instead. The term saorstát thus represented a compromise in terminology: constitutional monarchists could accept it as a less explicit rejection of the monarchy than the term republic itself, while republicans could choose to interpret it as signifying a republic by any other name.
The official Spanish name of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, literally, "Associated Free State of Puerto Rico", expressing a "politically organized community” or “State,” which is simultaneously connected by a compact to a larger political system and hence does not have an independent and separate status. However, according to the United States Supreme Court, Puerto Rico is not free or associated; it is only a state in the general sense, not as a state of the Union in the U.S. constitutional sense. According to consistent U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence, Puerto Rico belongs to but is not an integral part (Organized incorporated territory) of the United States. Moreover, the said jurisprudence has determined that regardless of what nominal or cosmetic veneer has moted Puerto Rico's political status, it is essentially a U.S. colonial territory, since it is under the plenary powers of the U.S. Congress. At its most basic, this Supreme Court doctrine expresses that Puerto Rico is more like property, far from a free-governing community or nation, and thus "domestic in a foreign sense" (not for the taking or meddling by free foreign nations), but "foreign in a domestic sense" (not a partner or an equal). In the Insular Cases, the Court ruled that the United States Constitution does not automatically apply in Puerto Rico.
Bavaria, officially the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres (27,239.58 sq mi) Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia, with Bavaria's main cities being Munich, Nuremberg, and Augsburg.
A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic". The noun "commonwealth", meaning "public welfare general good or advantage", dates from the 15th century. Originally a phrase it comes from the old meaning of "wealth", which is "well-being", and is itself a loose translation of the Latin res publica (republic). The term literally meant "common well-being". In the 17th century, the definition of "commonwealth" expanded from its original sense of "public welfare" or "commonweal" to mean "a state in which the supreme power is vested in the people; a republic or democratic state".
The politics of Puerto Rico take place in the framework of a democratic republic form of government that is under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United States as an organized unincorporated territory. Since the 1898 invasion of Puerto Rico by the United States during the Spanish–American War, politics in Puerto Rico have been significantly shaped by its status as territory of the United States. The nature of Puerto Rico's political relationship with the United States is the subject of ongoing debate in Puerto Rico, in the United States, the United Nations and the International Community, with all major political parties in the archipelago calling it a colonial relationship.
A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter", not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are attained through democracy or a mix of democracy with oligarchy or autocracy rather than being unalterably occupied by any given family lineage or group. It has become the opposing form of government to a monarchy and therefore has no monarch as head of state.
Saxony, officially the Free State of Saxony, is a landlocked state of Germany, bordering the states of Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland and the Czech Republic. Its capital is Dresden, and its largest city is Leipzig. Saxony is the tenth largest of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of 18,413 square kilometres (7,109 sq mi), and the sixth most populous, with more than 4 million inhabitants.
The Irish Free State was a state established in 1922 under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921. That treaty ended the three-year Irish War of Independence between the forces of the self-proclaimed Irish Republic, the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and British Crown forces.
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom in January 1919. The Republic claimed jurisdiction over the whole island of Ireland, but by 1920 its functional control was limited to only 21 of Ireland's 32 counties, and British state forces maintained a presence across much of the north-east, as well as Cork, Dublin and other major towns. The republic was strongest in rural areas, and through its military forces was able to influence the population in urban areas that it did not directly control.
The Federal Republic of Germany, as a federal state, consists of sixteen partly sovereign federated states. Since the German nation state was formed from an earlier collection of several states, it has a federal constitution, and the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty.
The Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives elected by the voters of the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico every four years, the only member of the House of Representatives who serves a four-year term.
People's republic is an official title used by some currently or formerly communist or left-wing states. It is mainly associated with soviet republics, socialist states following people's democracy, sovereign states with a democratic-republican constitution usually mentioning socialism, or simply a title used by a given country.
Commonwealth is a term used by two unincorporated territories of the United States in their full official names. The territories are the Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico.
A federal monarchy, in the strict sense, is a federation of states with a single monarch as overall head of the federation, but retaining different monarchs, or having a non-monarchical system of government, in the various states joined to the federation. In a looser sense, the term can include federal systems where the central and the state governments are headed by the same monarch, such as is the case with Canada and Australia.
The Republic of Baden was a German state that existed during the time of the Weimar Republic, formed after the abolition of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1918. It is now part of the modern German state of Baden-Württemberg.
The Free State of Brunswick was a state of the German Reich in the time of the Weimar Republic. It was formed after the abolition of the Duchy of Brunswick in the course of the German Revolution of 1918–19. Its capital was Braunschweig (Brunswick).
Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico[esˈtaðo ˈliβɾe asoˈsjaðo ðe ˈpweɾto ˈriko] is the official name of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Its literal translation is "Associated Free State of Puerto Rico". The official name was suggested by its architect Luis Muñoz Marín and adopted by a constitutional assembly on 25 July 1952. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States.
Both the civil and state flag of the German state of Saxony feature a bicolour of white over green, similar to the Austrian province of Styria although they are historically not related to each other. The state flag is similar to the civil flag, except it is defaced in the centre with the coat of arms of Saxony. The colours of both flags were officially decided as state colours in 1815. The aristocracy used mostly and in first time the quadrangular and later the rectangular
The Hanseaten is a collective term for the hierarchy group consisting of elite individuals and families of prestigious rank who constituted the ruling class of the free imperial city of Hamburg, conjointly with the equal First Families of the free imperial cities Bremen and Lübeck. The members of these First Families were the persons in possession of hereditary grand burghership of these cities, including the mayors, the senators, joint diplomats and the senior pastors. Hanseaten refers specifically to the ruling families of Hamburg, Lübeck and Bremen, but more broadly, this group is also referred to as patricians along with similar social groups elsewhere in continental Europe.
The political status of Puerto Rico is that of an unincorporated territory of the United States. As such, the island of Puerto Rico is neither a sovereign nation nor a U.S. state. Because of that ambiguity, the territory, as a polity, lacks certain rights but enjoys certain benefits that other polities have or lack. For instance, in contrast to U.S. states, Puerto Rico residents cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections nor can they elect their own senators and representatives to the U.S. Congress. On the other hand, in contrast to U.S. states, only some residents of Puerto Rico are subject to federal income taxes. The political status of the island thus stems from how different Puerto Rico is politically from sovereign nations and from U.S. states.
The Revolutions of 1917–1923 was a revolutionary wave that included political unrest and revolts around the world inspired by the success of the Russian Revolution and the disorder created by the aftermath of World War I. The uprisings were mainly socialist or anti-colonial in nature. Many attempted socialist revolts failed to have a long-term impact.
During the height of the Cold War, Latin America became a strategic pillar of the hemispheric defense doctrine, serving a key to the power struggle between East and West. Following the Cuban Revolution and the overthrow of the US-friendly government of Fulgencio Batista, the United States became concerned with the spread of the Soviet Union's influence in Latin America, becoming heavily invested in retaining as much influence as possible. With the nuclear arms race at its peak, a Soviet transfer of nuclear warheads to its Latin American ally in Cuba nearly concluded in the onset of World War III in October 1962. Afterward, the United States hardened its influence throughout Latin America, involving itself in what became known as the "Dirty War", a process that involved questionable actions including supporting or overthrowing governments depending on political leaning, supporting subversive groups such as the Contras with weaponry and funding, or participating in controversial operations such as Operation Charly and Operation Condor. The fallout from these actions affect Latin America–United States relations to this day.