Why does America have different laws around the country?

Is it kinda like EU Europe? Like all linked up and we can move freely between each EU country, claim social housing and benefits, work, receive medical care and kids have education, but each separate EU European country have their own laws? If so, why do they live separately instead of as one United country under one law?
If that's not why, why is it?

I've also always wondered, how does the states work? From my understanding there's states, and within each state there are cities, then within each city there are boroughs? Is there anything inside boroughs? Or does it just go to neighborhoods?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Because the US is not just one big blob of land ruled by the federal government. Every state in the United States is sovereign in its own right, pretty much like little countries which have certain rights when it comes to certain areas of law. There are certain "powers" that the federal government has, certain "powers" the federal government has, and then there are some that overlap where the federal usually can override the state, but often chooses not to.

    Hope that made sense, if you want to know more search something like "states vs federal powers"

    This is a good system because the US is a very a big country, what works for the people in new york might not be good for those in california, closer the governing body is to the people being governed, the better. Also it allows for little "experiments"

    For instance, currently we have a few states trying out legalization of marijuana. a lot of people have reservations about the dangers of legalizing, so it would be better to prove the concept by legalizing small areas and just seeing how it goes. Then, if all goes well, other states, and eventually the federal government will follow.

    The most important thing is that the US is a federation, which means that we are a union of partially self governing states. Almost every large country in the world is a federation, the only exception i can think of would be China, but even though China is not a federation, it still very much operates like one because it has smaller autonomous regions

    Hope that helps!

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    • to your second question, really all there is would be

      Federal gov (country) ->state -> counties -> municipalities (city) -> township (town)

      No lower than that

    • The biggest difference between the EU and USA would be that there is no elected official to govern the EU like there is America. Yes they are comparable though i suppose

What Guys Said 8

  • Actually, the European Union, is fairly close to what the US was originally supposed to be. That's why each of our territories are called "states". They were supposed to be many states that operated in close alliance, free travel, and fair trade with one another.

    Later during the civil war, the southern tried to break free of the union and, again, run on a similar structure as the "confederate states", but that didn't work out so well.

    But this is why I don't compare the US to Germany or France or Spain, etc. I compare the USA to the entire EU in many or most cases.

    As it stands now, the states are simply a stage in the heirarchy. The national government resides over all the states, the state government resides over the counties or regions, the county governments reside over the city governments, and the city governments reside over the people.

    So if you live in, say, Terre Haute, you must answer to the Terre Haute government, the Vigo County government, the Indiana government, and the US government.

    When you vote for president, you don't actually cast a vote for the president themselves. You are voting for a representative who votes for a representative who votes for a representative who votes for the president. And even then, they don't have to.

    There's a reason for this. The US is much older than the EU as a unified population. While the EU rose post WWII, a time when managing large populations was more efficient, the US population started off being managed by mail carried on horseback.

    In order to deal with large populations across long distances (without resorting to totalitarian power), the people would have to elect representitives to ride up to the state to elect representatives to ride way out to Washington DC (Philadelphia at the time). I would imagine that if the US was founded in the age of the internet, presidential elections would be held via online poll, and the voters themselves would be counted up.

    This is actually how Bush came into office. Al Gore won more of the popular vote, but the populous didn't vote for president, they voted for which representatives the state would send (each state does it differently). The result was more electoral votes despite fewer popular votes.

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  • There are state laws and federal laws in the US. Both apply to the people living in each state but federal law trumps state law, (most of the time). Different states have laws that other states do not. For example. In my home state of Oregon, you cannot pump your own gas, you need a gas station attendant to do it for you. Almost every other state in the country allows you to pump your own gas, but it's a law that's in effect in Oregon.

    The system works like this because when the US first became a country, it was a loose collection of states that worked almost autonomously of each other with almost no cooperation between them. The federal government has just become stronger with the passage of time because it makes the system work better. We all live under two sets of laws, the one federal set that all 50 states adhere to, and then the state set.

    Boroughs are only found in big cities, and most of the time they don't really have any power. They're essentially just big neighborhoods. Cities don't have many laws that are different from the state and federal laws, so they're not really that important.

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  • yeah exactly like EU... JUST like... this ;)

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  • Imagine a pie , you can eat one half , full of cum. THe other one is filled with poo. You can eat both of them at the same time , you have to choose , because after the consumption you will throw up. Something similar happens in Muricaa.

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  • Each h state has its own state laws that are still within the federal laws. Here is the breakdown... federal, state, county, city.

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  • The states may be separate and can have some different laws, but there are many universal laws that cover all the states. All the states have to answer to the central government, the central goverment is more powerful then the state government.

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  • It goes back to the founding, in the late 1700s when there was little communication and transportation technology. Basically, each state made its own laws and the federal government was supposed to be limited.

    There are stillany people today who believe any federal laws or involvement is bad. They are called "tenthers" after the tenth amendment, that they interperet to mean the federal govmnt can't do anything, and only the individual states can.

    So basically a mix of stubbornly clinging to tradition no matter how outdated or inneffective, and radical interpretation of the constitution, usually by people with radical interpretations of the bible as well.

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  • wut? think of the states as like territories and cities are just big towns and there are tons of towns and stuff all around the cities like every other country. And they have different laws in different states depending on the people that live in the state, how many people live in the state, what happens in the state, etc. So like in North Dakota I think it is only like 14 to drive when everywhere else it is 16 because North Dakota is very rural. it just depends on the surroundings

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What Girls Said 3

  • Federalism. Basically, when the US was founded, people didn't want a strong central government. The monarchy in Britain had worked so badly for them that they wanted to make sure there wasn't a single central government that could just control everyone. So they tried giving each little area the right to make their own laws and taxes and whatnot, leaving fairly few powers to the central government. But that ended up working really badly too, as the central government couldn't control the states and make sure things didn't get out of hand. So now we have a central government with some amount of power to make certain laws, as well as states with their own powers.

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  • Because some people think that the state should dictate what happens in each state

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  • Because unlike everywhere else we have states, but despite the fact that we're one country and have laws and amendments (and we have to follow those) we have our own individual rules.

    It's like how there's cities in every state (country for anyone that's not American) and you might have different laws for different states well we each state still falls under the country. I'm sorry it's kind of hard to explain.

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