Talk:Sovereignty/Archive 1

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Archive 1 | Archive 2

How dare I speak? I am the truth I am the reality that is! Sovereignty will not exist for any nation. This is not a threat, this is not a joke, it is that that is. We do not live in a time that respects Sovereignty. Humanity is subject to the laws of an agenda that does not concern itself with such childish notions. the state of our existence is not subject to any laws we could hope to enforce. I hold no hope that any one will allow my words to stay. I know I am not eliquent with the laws of wikidom. but today I am 50nyears old and today i will speek my heart.

Humanity is not in controle of the Earth. we are like the Bees or the yeast in that we can do here what they can not do.

It is not the job of humanity to become any greater thing. no it is our job to ripen this planet for harvest. We are not ment to evolve we are ment to serve. Sorry. That is the truth. It nead not be the end. Part of our contract is thatwe earn our Sovereignty if we can stop the rotatin of our Planet.???

In short we are tools. Sativarg (talk) 07:58, 21 March 2009 (UTC) I am that that is...And so are all of us...

Confederate currency

From a message to Lee Daniel Crocker -

"Hi! tiaan On talk:False document WORNG, "Confederate inte he is stehre idtere u8 rere u teereren u ererh

currency was the legitimate, useful currency of a sovereign country." A few months ago I got interested in this issue - whether the Confederacy should or should not be viewed as having been a sovereign country (I consider myself emotionally neutral on this issue). I discovered that no

foreign government recognized the CSA. Since this is, I think, the most general, and probably one of the most useful, litmus tests for judging an administration sovereign/not-sovereign, I think we have to say that the CSA was "really" a "territory in rebellion" and not "really" a "sovereign state". Comments?

I would have to say the Confederacy sovereign over those of it's citizens who consented to be governed by it, and thus must be considered a sovereign State, the fact that not all of the citizens in the south considerd the government to be sovereign notwithstnding (see my comments below)NOTE: Though itis based on what I know to be well-settled points of Law as opposed to my other notes on this page, this must be considered more of an opinion than a well researched position.Pedant 05:21, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

see also American Civil War

This page has a major US bias. How about introducing some more visable non-American perspectives on what sovereignty is?

yer right

interesting would be federal sovereignty in germany, switzerland and belgium.... dariopersiano —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Sovereignty in international law

I find name of the section somewhat unspecified. There should be two different sections on international law. 1. a section where international law recognises sovereignty(already in the article). 2. a section covering the effect of international law and institutions on individual country's sovereignty(how supreme is a country's sovereign power over istelf if the UN passes a resolution saying its actions are "illegal"?) I'm not nearly knowlegably enough myself to write this, so could someone else please do so. Cheers.

Sovereignty and Federalism: Legality of Secession

I have to take issue with one of the points brought up in the main page: the status of some of the states (particularly South Carolina) before and during the Civil War. There is an important, overriding point that has not been considered here: the original 13 colonies were signatories to the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" which, by its very name, bound all members permanently into a union.

This committment -- as all others under the Confederation -- was grandfathered into the Constitution by the "All debts and engagements entered into, before adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation" clause of Article VI of the Constitution; hence permanently binding the states that descend from the 13 colonies to the perpetual union they had already signed into under the Articles of Confederation.

Though one may make the case for a later state, like Texas, being allowed to secede, the secession of South Carolina was invalid as per these signed and ratified committments, as well as that of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

This cuts obliquely across the indicated stands originating from Calhoun and the Federalist Papers. The question of sovereignty, with regard to the issue of secession, is thus a red herring. Even if granted the status of sovereignty, these 4 states still were not allowed to secede, as per the very committments just stated that they had signed onto.

Misleading Wording. I noticed misleading wording in the section: "each seceded from the prior Confederated union of 1781, whereupon nine of them joined in Constitutional union on June 21, 1788, four states refusing until various conditions were met - including the addition of the Bill of Rights." It is my understanding that the Bill of Rights was not ratified until December 15, 1791, while Rhode Island was the last of the 13 to ratify the Constitution on May 29, 1790. In reading the ratification statements there was a widespread agreement that various amendments were needed, but all ratified the Constitution prior to the ratification of these amendments. This doesn't really change the thrust of the section, but it does correct the timeline to recognize that the Constitution was fully ratified without the Bill of Rights. Red Harvest (talk) 01:47, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

US Gov't Legal Theory

I recall, in a discussion of territorial claims in Antarctica and/or hypothetical extra-terrestrial territorial claims, that the stated policy of the US was (decades ago, at least) & i conjecture still is that there can be no de jure sovereignty w/o the exercise of de facto sovereignty. Can anyone update and flesh out that idea? --Jerzy 03:08, 2004 Feb 8 (UTC)

(de facto sovereignty does not strictly speaking exist on it's own, either, government is by consent of the governed)

Exercising de facto jurisdiction over a country does not make a sovereign. Sovereignty is the right to exclusive jurisdiction:

  • sovereignty may be granted to a government by the people, the government then "has exclusive right to" govern.
  • sovereignty may be taken by conquest of a vanquished foe, which in order to survive tolerates the usurper, the government then "has exclusive right to" govern. However, the right comes from the relinquishing of sovereignty by the vanquished and not by the mere act of conquest.
  • any power granted to government by it's populace may be reclaimed.

the concept of "no de jure sovereignty without defacto sovereignty" refers to

(and I am sorry I cannot cite case law on this at this point, but I tender an offer of proof, i.e., the case law exists, and were I a government intending to repress it's own Citizens I would have it handy, but I'm not, I don't and hope it will not be necessary )

the idea that "A Citizen may invest their government with exclusive jurisdiction over themselves.

That Citizen by relinquishing their jurisdiction to the State may not then be once again considered Sovereign by mere internal decision of such governed.

An act of diffidatio is required. Though diffidatio is a concept from feudal times, the it has not vanished. An act of diffidatio is simply an overt act, the nature of which serves to inform the entity (govt. or king or usurper or invader) of sovereigns reclamation of their right to exercise exclusive jusrisdiction. This act may be a cannon shot, a declaration by a politcal body, a formal proclamation to the King, or a duploma. A duploma might be described best as a written proclamation of a Sovereign. Such duploma would explicitly state the reclamation of one's rights.

Traditionally a diffidant was allowed safe passage out of the kingdom or jurisdiction. A diffidant becomes alien to the former 'governor' (King, government, etc.)and vice versa.

Hope this is of some use. Pedant 05:09, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

For the non-jargoned, diffidatio is legally equivalent to "renunciation of citizenship". However, recent US caselaw (J. Walker, the "American Taliban") seems to have determined that such "renunciation" is not valid in the eyes of the world unless accompanied by naturalization to another country, at the very least. There is no such thing as a "sovereign individual" in modern law.

Dogface 15:37, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This is not the case. In law, 'jargon' is refered to as terms of art. Diffidatio is not such a term, it is a word that has a specific meaning, and is not a synonym for "renunciation of citizenship" as you state. The phrase "seems to be" in his assertion points out the fact that this is not a legal opinion as expressed by a judge, but merely Dogface's misunderstanding. The fact that he is not aware of their existence does not mean that there are no Sovereign Citzens. Additionally the phrase "... not valid in the eyes of the world unless accompanied by naturalization to another country, at the very least ..." (besides referring to renouncing citizenship, not to to the claim that Sovereigns have made that they in fact never consented to be governed) is flawed: the 'eyes of the world' are not the arbiters of Law -- that is the job of a Judge, in a duly convoked and convened Court... and "to another country" is meaninglessly vague in any legal sense, and with regard to State Citizens, who are part of a State, with a legal Constitution which has in fact never been repealed. Don't take either his or my word for it, as our words, and in fact no words on wikipedia have the force and effect of actual Law. There is a Law Library at the nearest courthouse, and I encourage anyone who is interested in these issues to either make use of the free services there, or to hire a qualified Solicitor or Attorney-at-Law.

Actually, the government isn't really a government. It's a Corperation. (jhr192) and some other historical laws can show you how. Right now our "government" is using the authorities under thier "LAW" to send us into another depression. Sovernty is being free from the corp. and rewinding our very existance to point "1776". It can be done and I can prove it, because i am!!!!

You must take ownership of the debtor and the creditor in our persent state of a union. Look at any preface to any law book and read it. It say's " BEST EVIDENCE OF THE LAW!". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:56, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


the following (quoted from the article) is false

'Sovereignty' is the right of a political entity to exercise power. Sovereignty vests in a government.

the following is true

'Sovereignty' is the right of a political entity to exercise exclusive jurisdiction Sovereignty is vested in the natural person' (as distinct from a corporate person). By overt conscious act, one can willingly transfer their Sovereignty to another, such as a King. Similarly it can be invested in any other type of governmental leadership. A government governs by consent of the governed. No estoppel of one's ability to reclaim sovereignty is granted by temporarily granting such consent. Further, Sovereignty cannot be obtained by mere conquest. Pedant 05:11, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Jurisdictional/Sovereignty Issues in Guantanamo Base

Funny story about the "exclusive jurisdiction" == "sovereignty" thing: apparently the United States' treaty with Cuba for Guantanamo Bay grants the U.S. "complete jurisdiction" over the base, but Cuba retains "ultimate sovereignty." See Rasul v. Bush. Jkeiser 05:46, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)

Yes, and notice that "complete jurisdiction" is distinct from exclusive jurisdiction. Sometimes these distinctions seem to be 'just words' or even word games, but all of Law is "just words". Subtle distinctions in meaning as well as common words redefined as terms of art and words that temporarily and within a limited context mean something completely different than the actual normal meanings of the word...

(spurious example: within the scope of paragraph twelve section three, the phrase "red is blue" shall be construed to mean that a pattern containing 20 percent or more of the color red shall not be considered nonblue" except as defined in section 8.)

... make the law somewhat of a minefield. Tread cautiously. The United States was created with words. It is more likely to be destroyed by words than by war.Pedant

Are you saying that "complete jurisdiction" implies that Cuba also has jurisdiction over people housed within the base? I hadn't thought of that interpretation, and the Supreme Court seemed to think it was not the case (saying there was no other court where these peoples' cases could be heard), but it's an interesting thought ... Jkeiser 07:26, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)

First, I can't speak on the case of Rasul vs Bush, as the only resource I have available at the moment is the Wikipedia article. But, assuming the treaty does in fact say

 "that the US has "complete jurisdiction" over 
 the base, but Cuba retains "ultimate sovereignty."

then I would note that neither "complete" nor "ultimate" is a synonym for "exclusive".

It would seem to me that if the scope of the treaty includes only the US base, and if the treaty states that Cuba "retains" any sort of sovereignty, then the US would then not in fact hold any sovereignty, absent exclusive jurisdiction.

but, on the other hand, if the US has "complete jurisdiction" over the base, then that would seem to plainly mean that the "ultimate sovereignty" retained by Cuba extends only to the territory of Cuba, including the territory on which the base is built and not the base itself and that a jurisdictional nexus exists similar to the way a transparent overlay may sit upon a map, but not be part of the map.

In a similar fashion the United States Government and the Fifty United States exist as a jurisdictional nexus overlying the territory of the united States, and the territories of the Sovereign States. This paragraph is the one that is going to bother people. I don't particularly care, as it is the truth.

back to your question, I would say it seems the US has jurisdiction over any of the people within the US base if and only if the US would have jurisdiction over those people, were they to be within the United States, as, (given that the treaty grants jurisdiction), certainly the base is within the United States

so the real questions are

  • "did the United States have jurisdiction over these prisoners when they were abducted/captured?
  • "would the United States have jurisdiction over these prisoners if they were within the United States?
  • "if the United States does claim jurisdiction over them, by what reasoning is it claimed? and How was it obtained?"
  • What rights does such a person have, given that they are within the United States?

I suggest that if this discussion goes much further away from 'sovereignty in general' it be moved to another location though, as we are going slightly off-topic on a highly controversial and poorly understood topic. But hey, I'm new here, so I don't have a sense of the community's customs. Advice welcomed. And flames should be directed to MY page, and not this one, please.

Pedant, I guess what you are saying is, one can only have sovereignty over a geographical region or over people if one's decisions or actions cannot be overridden by any other authority. Is that right? It seems like a decent definition.

(yes! King George was Sovereign, in America(calling it America for simplicity's sake) and 'We the People' took our sovereignty back, by an act of diffidatio(the Declaration of Independence)but the de facto Sovereignty did not pass to 'us' immediately, we merely claimed it... we obtained our sovereignty when the the king failed to have the ability to exercise jurisdiction. by the Act/declaration of diffidatio, we obtained dejure sovereignty, de facto sovereignty passed to us when it passed from the king.Pedant 19:37, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Said "act of diffidatio only distinguishable from a mere "revolt" by the post hoc victory of the rebels. The only difference between a revolt and a war of independence is who wins. The legality of any "revolution" depends entirely upon which side won.

As to proof of my assertion about the Cuba treaty, I will read directly from the top of the Supreme Court decision:

(I don't doubtyour word, I don't need proof. as I said, or at least intended to convey (and maybe should have made more plain) my answers were 'casual' answers in a 'casual discussion' with you based on an assumption that what you quoted was given as was not a pronouncement of the legal validity or invalidity... please continue Pedant)
Petitioners, 2 Australians and 12 Kuwaitis captured abroad during the hostilities, are being held in military custody at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Naval Base, which the United States occupies under a lease and treaty recognizing Cuba's ultimate sovereignty, but giving this country complete jurisdiction and control for so long as it does not abandon the leased areas.

(to start with I'm taking it as a given that the lease is paid, in whatever manner it is supposed to be)

(in the above context, (the word 'but' negates what comes before it)
 Note that
 "...that the US has "complete jurisdiction" over the base, but Cuba retains "ultimate sovereignty...."
 is opposite in meaning to
        "...treaty recognizing Cuba's ultimate sovereignty, but giving this country (us) complete jurisdiction and control..."

("but" has the effect of nullifying what comes before)

it would seem that the phrase "complete jurisdiction and control" essentially expresses the necessary exclusivity inherent in the concept of sovereignty, which would vitiate any claim (on the part of cuba) to "the leased areas" known as "Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Naval Base", therefore Cuba would NOT have any jurisdiction over any aspect within such "leased areas"(this is contrary to my original opinion, you may review the discussion and note the 'factual differences' I base my different opinion on) but again,this is not the text of the treaty, it is your quote of THEIR interpretation,and again, in expressing this NEW opinion I am once again accepting as GIVEN, the accuracy of their wording as being consistent with the actual language of the treaty (I am trying to be both precise AND understandable: I cannot render an opinion on a treaty I have not read, but I am attempting to explicate precisely the concept of sovereignty, and not the factuality of or validity of anyone's claim to anything)Pedant)

The Supreme Court further states, in point a.1 of the decision, that "for more than two years they have been imprisoned in territory over which the United States exercises exclusive jurisdiction and control."

(so, their opinion is that the exclusivity exists, based on that, no jurisdiction for Cuba then)

So according to the Supreme Court, at least in this case, the "complete jurisdiction" is equivalent to "exclusive jurisdiction". I didn't see a place where anyone seriously asserts that Cuba might contradict that jurisdiction. The whole "ultimate sovereignty" bit is malarky, unless it just means "when the U.S. is done with it Cuba can have sovereignty back."

(essentially, yes, that is correct - if the lease is 'paid', if not, or if the US abandons the land, then "Cuba can have sovereignty (over the base) back ")

The relevant question here is: what does the treaty mean when it says Cuba has sovereignty? Maybe it's just nothing.

(It means that the US "can't claim ownership over the (the land of) the base, for instance by the doctrine of adverse tenancy(aka squatters rights)or any other similar claim.)

If you don't mind I would enjoy reading the full text of that court decision, if you would post it to my talk page I would appreciate it.Pedant 19:37, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

David.Monniaux, the second reference looks like a discussion of sovereignty over space, which is definitely a relevant issue to this article (this refers to the next section, "Another Comment" -- ed.)

Jkeiser 04:21, Aug 6, 2004 (UTC)

David.Monniaux:Be nice to newcomers

Hehe. David.Monniaux 20:25, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I'd say this discussion has gone as far as it can with respect to sovereignty :) I think we're agreed. I've taken the liberty of moving your response back up near this comment so that it is all together in one place. This page is getting awfully hard to read ... Jkeiser 04:51, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

Another Comment

To User:Pedant: please don't:

  • over-use bold face
  • push your personal political or moral point of view.

The first paragraph is meant to define the term, not to give the personal point of view of a contributor. David.Monniaux 16:33, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Stephen D. Krasner. 1999. Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

John Hickman and Everett Dolman. 2002. "Resurrecting the Space Age: A State-Centered Commentary on the Outer Space Regime." Comparative Strategy Vol. 21. No. 1, pp. 1-20.

The first seems highly POV (so more neutral reference texts should be given first), and I don't quite see the rationale for the second (maybe an explanation is in order). David.Monniaux 16:43, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
David.Monniaux: I am not sure what you are saying. in the use of the bold text, I felt I was emphasizing the salient legal points. Please tell what you see as "over-use of" bold text.

I most definitely dispute the revision you made.(to a form written by an anonymous contributor with no other contributions on record. Was this perhaps Charliehorse?) The present state of revision is entirely inaccurate. I was not speaking from moral or personal POV, (unless by that you mean the POV of one knowing very thoroughly what 'sovereignty' means) ...specifically what do you claim as being expressive of a 'personal moral POV' please elaborate. do you allege an error of fact? or an error of style?

This page is absolutely flawed and nonfactual as it stands. I will not begin an edit war on something like this, (particularly with a sysop who has shown that he believes that:

"sovereignty is the right to exercise one's
ability to impose one's will on others,
even if those others resist in some way"

) however I think it highly innapropriate to simply revert the page with no discussion, (notwithstanding your elevated postion in the community,) and additionally without making a note of both the deleted text and the text with which it was replaced here on the talk page.

as I understand it (remember I'm new, please school me if this is incorrect) this is the appropriate way to a substantial edit, when the topic is controversial or when the page is undergoing active editing: (example from Bible)

Basically, an introductory paragraph should define a term in its most commonly accepted and general sense. Of course, in an introductory definition, many terms are likely to be important; still, one should not put in bold ALL of the important terms, for it yields a paragraph of which a significant part is in bold, which makes reading difficult.
I'm sorry for the immediate revert: it looked like you were actively pushing some weird POV with a heavy-handed presentation. David.Monniaux 09:23, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

EXAMPLE history / neutrality / EXAMPLE

From the current article:

> It also includes a great deal of the history of the Jews.

Is this NPOV (I mean implicitly claiming the Bible to be history) ?

I agree this does not seem neutral.Pedant

This is what I got when I tried to 'neutralize' that paragraph:


Contents: The Bible tells how the one God relates to the world and his creations, especially mankind; it also details mankind's relationship and obligations to God. It also includes a great deal of the history of the Jews. Many Christians use the Bible as a source of religious beliefs and doctrines. Most Protestant Christians advocate that it is the incomparably authoritative guide in all matters of faith and practice, a principle called sola scriptura AND YOU LIKE TO DANCE TO THEW POGA POGA ON FRIDAY NIGHTS LIKE A CRAZY MAN WOOT WOOT SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE SHAKE IT SH SH SH SHAKE IT .


Synopsis: The Hebrew scripures of the Bible - portions of which contain stories traditionally held to be historical accounts of much of the early history of the Hebrew Nation - teach that there is one God, Jehovah, "Creator of Heaven and Earth" who created Man "in his own image", and details the relationship between Man and his Creator.

For Christians, the Bible continues - with the advent of Jesus Christ - the story begun in the Hebrew scriptures, and is a primary source of religious doctrine and a foundation for their spiritual beliefs. Some religious sects, notably, several of the 'Protestant' Christian sects, believe the Bible to be the ultimate and authoritative guide in all spiritual matters, by a principle referred to as sola scriptura.

anyone have a problem with this edit? If so,go right ahead...

Also your 'citation' above is to books which I did not find in the Law Library. If they are appropriately relevant texts, do they have the force and effect of law? Do they refer to any law or relevant legal arguments which might be found in a law library? do they contain any citations to case law or legal precedent?

If so, it would be more beneficial to the present task

(remember, we are writing an encyclopaedic article, the subject of which is sovereignty, a legal term ... legal terms require precise definitions or they are meaningless. The definitions of Sovereignty are well-settled points of law and custom.)

for you to post citations here, than for you to just post the titles of books, with a vague reference to the first 20 pages of one of them. That is not documentation.

May I ask what your legal expertise is? I myself have no formal legal training but I have won 3 fairly difficult legal cases in court, have forced satisfactory settlements in two others, and assisted in preparation of another winning case for a third party. I have thoroughly (albeit 20 years plus ago) explored the issue of sovereignty, from the Rise of Royal Prerogative in England to the point where I emancipated myself by duploma (over the course of 2 years of correspondence) from the United States Government in 1982. I must say, though it was an adversarial encounter, the United States was at all times cordial, and my experience was made easier by the fact that the US is very knowledgeable when it comes to matters of sovereignty.

That said, I would still welcome input from anyone with appropriate legal expertise. In fact I will insist upon it if the non factual information is not corrected. In writing about law and legal concepts, preciseness of language is vital.

the following (quoted from the article) is false

Sovereignty is the right of a political entity to exercise power. Sovereignty vests in a government.

the following is true

Sovereignty is the right of a political entity to exercise exclusive jurisdiction Sovereignty is vested in the natural person' (as distinct from a corporate person). By overt conscious act, one can willingly transfer their Sovereignty to another, such as a King. Similarly it can be invested in any other type of governmental leadership. A government governs by consent of the governed. No estoppel of one's ability to reclaim sovereignty is granted by temporarily granting such consent. Further, Sovereignty cannot be obtained by mere conquest.

David.Monniaux, I would welcome your efforts to refactor the above true statement to remove a perceived POV issue, however I must still insist that the previous version is false and must not stay.

Further, this contains legal concepts nonfactually characterized as moral concepts:

Different views of sovereignties

There exist vastly differing views on the moral bases of sovereignty. In this section, we shall discuss rights not as legal concepts, but as moral concepts.

Partisans of the divine right of kings argue that the King is Sovereign by divine right, and not by the agreement of the people.

Most democracies are based on the concept of popular sovereignty: ultimately, sovereignty is vested in the people, who freely grant the exercise of it to the government.

Anarchists and some libertarians deny the sovereignty of states and governments.

In this section there is

  • support for the fact that sovereignty is vested in the people,
No. Just the mere statement that this is the idea underlying most democracies.
  • there is POV tending to support the idea that the "sovereignty of states and governments" is the natural state, and that to deny such "fact" is abberrant, and further that anarchists and libertarians are the only ones who assert their personal sovereignty
No. You are free to add other categories to the list of people asserting their own sovereignty.
  • there is, placed most prominently in the first position, and with the words King and Sovereign Capitalised, yet libertarians, states and governments are lower-case, implying the lesser claim
The capital for "sovereign" was an accident. Capitalizing the King was just usage (for instance, legal British texts capitalize the Crown when they talk about the legal entity called the Crown).
  • it looks as if the sovereignty that "anarchists and some libertarians deny" is the 'lesser' sovereignty, and that the Sovereignty of the King is the greater
  • further, this contains legal concepts nonfactually characterized as moral concepts.
Let me rephrase. In a country where the legal system is based on the divine rule of kings (say, France under Louis XIV), the legal situation is that the king rules by divine right. You may, however, feel that this is unfair, wrong, but all of these are morall' judgments. However, these moral judgments would never have done you good in courts of law.
This is the difference between "the actual legal situation in a country" (factual legal information) and "the legal situation that one would like to exist in that country".

By what meaning of those words is this an accurate factual nonmisleading non-POV statement,and in what way does this not prejudice the statements made in this paragraph?

I apologise for being so long winded. I was trying to express a valid legal point that is of global importance. If I am going to continue this, I will need a new keyboard, as my space bar is dying and it is a huge chore to keep going back and putting in missed spaces. I may not be back for over a day. But I will be back.

David.Monniaux, if you can suggest a good way to handle this issue satisfactorily, I welcome your advice (and anyone else's of course) I don't have a personal stake in this, I have already asserted my own Sovereignty... but almost everyone else would benefit by an accurate understanding. Perhaps we could let two, more knowledgeable wikipedians take over? I don't think the communty is well served by us arguing endlessly,and if there is anything I can't resist arguing against, it is a factual error. You are welcome to use my talk page if you want to take this stink where the smell won't offend. Or here, I don't mind. I'm not angry, just commited to accuracy. Please forgive any inadvertent offense I may have caused in my zeal to have the most accurately factual article possible.Pedant 19:37, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I did not mean to offend you. My point is that the article must at no point argue that some conception of who should have sovereignty is "better" or "evident", be it personal sovereignty, popular sovereignty, the right of kings etc... We should simply state various theories that have been proposed throughout times and places, and explain their practical consequences. David.Monniaux 20:25, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

a fresh start

ahhh that's a bit better, maybe we misunderstood each other, I've encountered some outrageous behavior in the week I've been here, forgiveme for projecting that onto you... realizing you are a sysop, I should have known we had basically the same goals,and I now realize that my use of bold may have appeared argumentative in it's context, it was meant to be unambiguously explicative.

Taking it one tiny bit at a time, could you live with the following? I believe it to be factually correct and NPOV:

how about this change

Sovereignty is the legal lawful right of a political entity to exercise powerexclusive jurisdiction.. Sovereignty is vested in the 'natural person', and this natural sovereignty is generally invested in a monarch, assembly, council, or other type of government or other agency.

One can also refer to a [[m Monarch]] who rules a sovereign country as a/the Sovereign.

Personal s Sovereignty and state sovereignty share the concept of supremacyie., exclusivity of jurisdiction within the geographic boundaries of that sovereignty, in contrast to any obligation to defer to a higher worldly authority.

for these reasons

(1)legal implies the making of laws statutes and regulations, kings existed pre-legislation,in Common Law, hence Lawful

(2)not power, epecially not with that definition at the other end of the link, other things besides sovereigns can exercise THAT kind of power, the term "exclusive" is essential to the idea of sovereignty, and then "jurisdiction" or a legally valid legal synonym, exclusive jurisdiction is the number one universal test of sovereignty.

(3) It's well-settled Law that one (be they govt. king, chieftan, council, whatever...) cannot claim Sovereignty without the de facto ability to enforce exclusivity of jurisdiction, thus (even under Divine Right doctrine) there must be either fealty or submission to the Sovereign or sovereign agency.

(4) almost universally the title of a Head of State is rendered in Capital Letters.

(5) personal Sovereigns are customarily refferred to in Capitals as well

(6)sovereignty is independent of territory, example, the Dalai Lama, who exercises sovereignty over a nation that does not exist "within a territory" this is by far not unique to Tibet's government in exile.. this example is contemporary, and of sufficient notoriety as to aptly demonstrate this.

Any suggestions? Besides it being ugly looking this way? I'll check back some time later. I need to get a keyboard before the stores close.Pedant 22:48, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I see what you're getting at, but I think the changes you're proposing, while making the article more accurate, also make it harder to read. The summary should be a way to inform the user about sovereignty in general, while the rest of the article is there to flesh out the concepts. How about making the whole beginning section one paragraph:

Sovereignty is the right to exercise supreme power over a geographic region or group of people. Sovereignty is generally vested in a government or other political agency. A monarch who rules a sovereign country can also be referred to as the Sovereign of that country. The key ingredient in sovereignty is exclusive jurisdiction: when a decision is made by a sovereign entity, there is no higher authority to whom it can be effectively appealed.

I have tried to fold in the "exclusive jurisdiction" point as well as point (6) about the Dalai Lama. I sidestepped some of the other nitpicks while condensing this. I think point (3) is a very interesting one, but it does not need to be in the summary--it is better covered in "Different views of sovereignties" (which might be better named "Theory of sovereignty" since it is describing the moral basis for it.


I decapitalized monarch because it is used in the general sense. Just like the word "god" or "king", if you use it to refer to the general class of monarchs, you do not capitalize it.

What say you of this wording? Does it contain the points you think need to be in the summary?

Jkeiser 06:12, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

I think there's something really POV in saying that sovereignty is vested in the individual. The point of view of supporters of absolute monarchies is that the sovereign is sovereign, and that other individuals are subservient (generally, they temper that by some provision that the sovereign must respect the customs of the country).
really POV maybe, but it is the underlying legality even in 'divine right' countries... I'll see get a quote from someone like the King of Sweden or whatever.Pedant
I don't think that the institutions current Sweden (or any current European country) are based on the divine right of kings. If you are to find examples, you should rather look in 17th and 18th century history. Generally speaking, the idea behind absolute monarchies based on the divine right of kings is that God vested power in the sovereign, and that his subjects should be subservient. David.Monniaux 09:11, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Of course, the underlying idea of at least certain democracies is that the people are sovereign, and freely assemble in a society (see "social contract") which forms a government. David.Monniaux 12:51, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Are you talking about User:Pedant's comment that sovereignty is vested in people and invested in the government? Or about the idea that a monarch of a country is called a sovereign? (I'm not sure which comment you're responding to, his or mine.) By Pedant's own definition, a man does not have sovereignty if his decisions can be effectively overridden by another. Still, there is some merit in the idea--I just don't think it belongs in the summary. Jkeiser 19:00, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)
minor misquote not factually equivalent to my definition, but I won't quibble beyond that "effectively overridden" I think he's talking about my statement... it's controversy so let's just handle it as controversial, ie not in the summary. Let's finish the summary and move along?Pedant

maybe this?

ok. first, thanks to all for your diligence on this important matter.

I think the critical checkpoint is that the summary does not conflict with the LEGAL DICTIONARY-type definition of sovereignty as we are speaking in a legal sense almost throughout the article. Second, that the article not state anything that is not generally accepted worldwide as being true in a legal sense of "sovereignty" in general.

Beyond that I do agree that we should move to a subsection further discussion on materiial over which there is a conflict of legal opinion (as opposed to someone just not thinking it sounds right - which is going to be common, the actual stance of the Law looks very nonintuitively strange) and state the conflicting opinions as opinion.

I agree, monarch should be lower case, as it is general.

To address the point of 'divine right': even in countries where 'divine right' is the prevalent legal viewpoint, it is well known that in actuality kingship requires fealty (or submission in the case of a conquered nation) and that the political authority actually derives from and is an agglomeration of the authority of the people [not 'the people' as a whole, but the persons, jointly and severally] and in those countries 'divine right' is exercised as a convenient legal fiction. As the people of such countries long ago and many timesand at many places, invested a king or feudal lord, king, chieftain with their sovereignty by the act of following electing submitting to etc. such leader. (Don't we have any French Lawyers here???

We would probably need French historians rather. French lawyers generally do not have expertise in pre-Revolutionary institutions.
You are right in saying that ancestors of the rulers "by divine right" were once put in power by mere human power (be it their military prowesses, or often a decision by great feudal lords). The idea of the divine right of kings was encouraged by the kings themselves to counteract the pretenses of the high nobility of having a say in the direction of the country: if the sovereign was put in place by the high nobility, it suggested that he could be removed by the same high nobility; conversely, if the king ruled by divine right, the high nobility had no business in contradicting God's will.
Note the difference in attitude between Charles X of France who, as far as I know, estimated he ruled by divine right as "King of France", and Louis-Philippe, who ruled as "King of the French", expressing in his title that he derived his power from the people. Similarly, the King of Belgium is actually officially the King of the Belgians.
David.Monniaux 09:18, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

somebody find one and ask them) this includes both of the elements in the test of sovereignty: the king sovereign, says he is and is accepted as the king legally (de jure part ---- and the king exercises the authority of a sovereign, ie the people don't make their own foreign treaties, etc. (de facto) sovereignty. (But this is not general enough information for the opening, and is not detailed or referenced enough to belong in a subsection without a more thorough treatment IMO)

I think I could live with this, a short easy opening, followed by the key elements of sovereignty,and leave anything else for a subsection or separate article. I believe the following is correct in a strict legal sense as well as being simple enough for an opening:

Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme authority over a geographic region, or group of people such as a tribe, state or nation.

Sovereignty is generally held to be vested in a government or other political agency, in some it may inhere in an individual. A monarch who rules a sovereign country can also be referred to as the Sovereign of that country.

A key element of sovereignty in the legalistic sense is that of exclusivity jurisdiction. Specifically, when a decision is made by a sovereign entity, it cannot generally be ovverruled by a higher authority. Further, it is generally held that another legal element of sovereignty requires not only the legal right to exercise power, but the actual exercise of such power. ("no de jure sovereignty without de facto sovereignty") In other words, neither claiming/being proclaimed Sovereign, nor merely exercising the power of a Sovereign is sufficient, sovereignty requires both elements.

opinions?Pedant 23:10, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That sounds great! A couple of nitpicks I think might make it more readable:

(1) "is generally held to be vested" could be replaced with "is generally vested"--there is not enough controversy about where sovereignty is usually vested to add more weasel words :)

(2) I think it might make more sense to replace "in some it may inhere in an an individual" with "though there are cases where it is held by an individual" ... the word inhere is not well-known at all.

I will add it to the page with those modifications, please modify as you see fit. I think we're agreed on the summary, or at least close enough to just do minor edits on it.

Jkeiser 04:02, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)

I concur,let the wiki massage it from there. I am just concerned with it beingin accord with the actual law, so nobody is misled, since the article is authoritative in tone. Lets move on to the next issue if there is one. I haven't read the rest of the article since this thread began. Any one else have anything to say about the present form? If it's a minor edit go ahead,as long as it's not a whole new definition again I think. Is there a barnstar of patience? you all deserve one.Pedant 04:26, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Elements of sovereignty

A key element of sovereignty in the legalistic sense is that of exclusivity jurisdiction. Specifically, when a decision is made by a sovereign entity, it cannot generally be overruled by a higher authority. Further, it is generally held that another legal element of sovereignty requires not only the legal right to exercise power, but the actual exercise of such power. ("no de jure sovereignty without de facto sovereignty") In other words, neither claiming/being proclaimed Sovereign, nor merely exercising the power of a Sovereign is sufficient, sovereignty requires both elements.

this part I put into the 'differing views' section... it seems neutral enough in this context, and essential enough of an elementto go SOMEwhere...,and it got dropped with that edit. ifyou edit it, try to reformulate carefully, as this is one of the key elements of topicPedant 04:34, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Oh hell. I totally missed your de jure vs. de facto section, I thought you were just talking about it. I think it's good stuff. Let me take a stab at making it less lawyerly without removing the important points of law. (I am not a lawyer and my only familiarity with this subject is what you have written, I'm just usually pretty good at explaining complex stuff in plain language.) I do believe it is important enough to put in the summary, unless somebody feels it is too controversial (does anybody really believe that? I've seen these terms used in Supreme Court decisions before). Here is one idea:

Legally, there are two key elements of sovereignty, both of which must be met for a state to truly be considered sovereign. De jure sovereignty, the first one, is the legal recognition of exclusive jurisdiction. This means that other authorities agree that they will not overrule decisions made by the sovereign entity. De facto sovereignty, the second, is actual power, the ability to enforce one's decisions. If a sovereign state can make a decision but cannot carry it out, the recognized sovereignty of the state is essentially meaningless.

Sorry to miss that.Jkeiser 04:40, Aug 8, 2004 (UTC)

ok, this misses some of the key points and misstates it a bit. I appreciate your effort though. Precise definition is difficult to paraphrase, isn't it?

"other authorities agree that they will not overrule"
their agreement is not necessary, only the legal right to not be overruled
De facto sovereignty, the second, is actual power,
'the actual exercise' 'actually using'...etc. of that power. But 'power' that's a word that can't be used in this sense without FURTHER definition,because it's too ambiguous outside of a context that specifically implies what meaning is meant.
I think if we have the word 'exclusive' (the key point) in the opening paragraph, the rest can be saved for the later paragraph, where it is now... sparing people who just want the overview from reading mumbojumbo, but retaining the info for those who want a more thorough exposition.
If a sovereign state can make a decision but cannot carry it out, the recognized sovereignty of the state is essentially meaningless.
I think this is a splendid summation of the concept of defacto sovereignty I think if we

keep the defacto vs dejure info in the 'differing views' section, it ties together the 3 seemingly different views by the common thread of, "no matter what your view is on sovereignty , you have to have it to use it and use it to have it"

and if we add your summary it makes the 'differing views' section just about right.

A key element of sovereignty in the legalistic sense is that of exclusivity of jurisdiction.

Specifically, when a decision is made by a sovereign entity, it cannot generally be ovverruled by a higher authority. Further, it is generally held that another legal element of sovereignty requires not only the legal right to exercise power, but the actual exercise of such power. ("no de jure sovereignty without de facto sovereignty") In other words, neither claiming/being proclaimed Sovereign, nor merely exercising the power of a Sovereign is sufficient, sovereignty requires both elements.

If a sovereign state can make a decision but cannot carry it out, the recognized sovereignty of the state is essentially meaningless.

But if I may? I think this is one tiny bit better, as it applies to the anarchists, monarchs,etc:

If a sovereign - person or state - can make a decision but cannot carry it out, their recognized sovereignty is essentially meaningless.

In that form, I really like it. How does that read to you? I think at this point the article is accurate, and pretty safe to expand on. If the readability issue is good, (I'm blind to that, Ive read too much legalese to notice much if it sounds stilted or awkward), I'd say we are pretty set. Want to pick at it a bit and post your change? I think it's a consensus at this point, pretty much. Pedant 01:43, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Mainland China

I've delinked the term Mainland China from the article. The article is worded great and the contextual meaning is obvious. However, the linked term defines Mainland China as not including the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, which this article does not intend to imply. SchmuckyTheCat 02:02, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The term Mainland China does not include the regions of Hong Kong and Macau. However, the term China- the People's Republic of China- does. Please be noted by the difference between Mainland China and China. The term Mainland China is well accepted by Chinese government, especially when a inner-outer territory comparison concerning about Hongkong and Macau is needed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Yiyang.cass (talkcontribs) 19:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Edited out single sentence

I've edited out the "meaning" of sovereignty defined in the "Sovereignty in Certain Contexts" section defined solely as "a nation where its laws are made by the people." This definition is not cited, is biased towards an understanding of sovereignty with relation to democracy (which is POV,) too broad and inspecific to be an exclusive "definition," and generally out of place. If you want it in, at least provide a link to the definition and place it in the article properly.

Order of Malta spam

There's no reason for the Order of Malta to appear here, neither in one sentence nor much less in a whole paragraph. The Order of Malta has been recognized as "observer" by the United Nations, not as a sovereign state. If one wants to argue the reverse, he will have to provide due references. Lapaz

If you have properly read the paragraph and used the link to the order's page, you should know there are both sources right there and better reasons then what the UN does or not, for no single entity has a monopoly to award or regognize sovereignty, and clearly sovereign nations have either chosen to stay out (Switzerland, host of sevaral UN institutions, till 2002!) or expelled for reasons not pertaining to sovereignty (e.g. South Africa for apartheid, an internal matter). The point is precisely that there is not, never was and probably neer will be one single neat formula, and therefore it is worthwile to devote a paragraph to a special, today even unique case. Yes, there is discussion whether the order is sovereign, and the same goes for many other subjects in international law, which include non-states without any exclusive territory, notably inernational organisations such as the EU, as well as political entities which exerce every internal aspect of sovereignty but are not recognized (as states sec) by some or (nearly) all other states, often because of a claim on their territory by another state (e.g. PR of China versus Taiwan -for decades, only one seat in the UN was allowed, be it a permanent one with veto-right in he security council-, the two republics on Cyprus...). In such cases, each third state decides for itself whether to recognize, and usually (not necessarily) expresses this by diplomatic relations- 94 such formal 'votes' have been casted for the Order, many nations (especially tiny ones) have less. As one of the older sovereign entities of the world (most present republics are younger) the order was explicetly regognized by the two higheest authoritaties at vthe time, in Europe viz. in Christianity: the Holy Roman Empire who formally awarded the full rank of Reichsfürst to its Grandmaster and the Pope who added a rank assimilation to cardinals (i.e. Prince of the (universal) church; unique amongst other heads of state). Fastifex 01:06, 29 January 2006 (UTC)


President Chen Shui-bian had an interview with the Financial Times in October 2006. A transcript of the interview was posted on the internet by the Government Information Office (GIO).

Examining this interview, five comments of President Chen are particularly notable. These are --

  • (1) Very clearly, the national moniker according to the Constitution of the Republic of China is the Republic of China, which was founded in 1912. Taiwan, however, came under Japanese colonial rule in 1895, and the ROC did not include Taiwan when it was born.
  • (2) Similarly, the precursor of the ROC Constitution - the Five-Five Draft Constitution formulated in 1936 - did not include Taiwan within the existing national boundaries, as Taiwan was still under Japanese colonial rule at the time.
  • (3) Therefore, up until the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty [with Japan at the end of World War II], as many people have said very clearly, Taiwan was not turned over to China, and the view that Taiwan's international status is undetermined is quite well-known to many of us.
  • (4) It is therefore quite clear that "the existing national boundaries" of the ROC do not encompass Taiwan.
  • (5) Being a democratic country is not enough for Taiwan, however. It has to become a nation based on the rule of law.

The interview is posted here --

Justification for the state ?Merge

Merge with Justification for the state because its the same subject. Santa Sangre 22:45, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Not at all! Every state needs legitimation, but many states neither enjoy nor aspire sovereignty- lacking it actually means a greater need for justification, for they are otherwise in principle under threat of being legitimately eliminated by the sovereign echelon above them. By the way, independence and autonomy are not synonymous concepts either. Fastifex 09:36, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Can you give me an example of a state that does not "enjoy nor aspire sovereignty"? Thank you for explaining that independence & autonomy are not synonymous, i'm aware of the fact. Santa Sangre 18:25, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Read Bellum omnium contra omnes for an illustration of my identification of justification for the state to sovereignty, as in the contractualism theories. Santa Sangre 20:56, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


Is it possible for two countries to have sovereign power over the same area of land? If so, would anybody living there have dual-nationality? BirdValiant 02:47, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

  • It is possible, and has really existed in various modalities; there are even well-established legal terms for such extraordinary constitutional constructions, which are established under international law by at least two consenting (not necessarily neighbouring) sovereign powers: the condominium (e.g. the whole, presently independent, South Sea state of Vanuatu was an Anglo-French 'joint colony' under the name of New Hebrides) and the co-principality, of which there is an extant case in Europe: Andorra where sovereignty is formally vested in its joint heads of state (presently the French President and, invariably, the bishop of Urgel in Spanish Catalonia, the last one having no other sovereign right anywhere else then in Andorra). However, neither implies dual citizenship: one belongs to one state (by territory) which itself falls under two (or historically more) powers, not to any of these powers as such. Fastifex 10:33, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

What is the role of Sovereignty of states at international level concerning issues such as global warming,climate change etc? It has been accepted that the benifiters of those problem and the victems are not the same. At dealing with such problems, states seem to be less sovereign as these problems has transboundary nature.Explaining or adding entry concerning sovereignity and the state relating to those issues would be benificial for some, i think.thomaszamel 07:29, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Dali & "anarcho-monarchist"

When Dali spoke of being an anarcho-monarchist, he wasn't actually advocating some sort of slef-ownership position, he was trying to get a rise out of some fellow artists who said that their enemies were the anarchists on one side and monarchists on the other. It was a joke. 00:23, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Westphalian sovereignty and Contingent sovereignty needs attention

  • These articles were apparently created as part of a cover history for User:Liliana Dioguardi, who has been suspected to be in the employ of a Kremlin propaganda effort - specifically in her creation and maintenance of the International Council for Democratic Institutions and State Sovereignty article in support of the public legitimacy of that organization. The prominent international news and business magazine The Economist magazine has reported that this organization is likely a front for a Kremlin-sponsored disinformation effort, and has specifically identified the ICDISS article and User:Liliana Dioguardi as part of this effort. See these articles[1][2] and the ICDISS article talk page[3].
  • While these articles seem to be legitimate subjects, Dioguardi is responsible for all, or almost all their content - this makes these articles suspect for NPOV reasons.. I urge Wikipedians with a political theory/history/international relations/international law background to help build these articles beyond their sad "cover story" beginnings. Bwithh 05:53, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

Palestinian Sovereignty

The discussion around the breakfast table this morning is a disagreement over whether or not Palesine has true sovereignty. 2 hours in, we have no agreement whatsoever. Is Israel sovereign over Palestine? I believe that they are, and will be until Israel fully recognizes the Palestinian State.


Wikipedia is not wikidictionary, i understand, however english words that are not phonetically spelled might have a pronunciation guide... unsure if this is in accordance with wiki policy. MotherFunctor 23:41, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Greek/Latin mishmosh

"Basileus is the Greek concept for "Sovereign", which designs who has the auctoritas, which is to be distinguished from simple imperium, retained by archons (or "magistrates")."

This sentence is, in a word, terrible. Never mind that "basileus" means "king" or "emperor" -- sovereign in the limited case of a noun, not the adjective. What's the point of mingling terms from Greek political theory (basileus, archon) with Roman political theory (auctoritas, imperium)? They aren't the same, you know. --Jfruh (talk) 03:48, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I was about to comment on this very thing. You are my hero. -- 11:15, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

i agree. i made some changes, just to clarify the linguistic distinctions and to better define basileus etc. but really, the sentence should just be removed, unless something more applicable from classical political theory can be found. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Timmyandy (talkcontribs) 02:10, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

What about in the European Union?

If sovereignty is free from control external to a jurisdiction, then a certain amount of EU member states' sovereignties are 'pooled' into EU institutions. This is surely an important development in the notion of soverignty; I can't see why this wasn't included already in this article. (talk) 16:11, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, this should be discussed. Lost of soverreignty did happen to many countries in Europe under the EU. The same of which is happening to the US, Canada, and Mexico under the SPP which well soon be the NAU. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:59, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

What are the arguments against sovereignty?

To broadly paraphrase Sen. McCain in his most inauthentic moment, my friends, I agree with the principles of the conspiracist posters. The discussion of a North American Union, I repeat, all discourse about a hypothetical North American Union, is inherently speculative. This North American Union, which so many are talking about with trepidation--rightfully so--is only minor part of this article which should concern itself with philosophy and policy in the most general sense with regards to sovereignty. Should we attempt to concentrate on future specifics rather than past and present discussions of the central concept of sovereignty, your opponents, my conspiracist friends, will aptly label you conspiracy theorists. If one assumes the fact that there is a conspiracy to erode sovereignty in both a national and personal sense, wouldn't the conspirators, like the biblical Lucifer, merely 'bide their time until a more opportune moment' should any element of this conspiracy become too unworkable in a particular political climate? There is a page for those topics, which should be touched on in proportion here, but the obvious failing of this page is it's lack of discussion of oppositions and opponents to the sovereignty concept itself, in matters of both philosophy and policy. These are citable from reliable sources, incumbent upon the topic, and serve to inform the reader of the history and currents of this debate. If personal and national sovereignty are undesirable, would not the opponents of these concepts wish to educate us as to why? This is a debate which can definitely be represented in Wikipedia, and right here in this article. ClaudeReigns (talk) 09:36, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Reference article or see it completely changed

In last month I've completely revamped the theory section of both secession and separatism and now working on self-determination, replacing unsourced opinions with reliably sourced facts and opinions. While this article is fairly low on my list of priorities (like maybe end of the year), I would recommend that anyone who has sourced material in there they want to keep should start putting in references after assertions or sections, with page numbers if facts are from books. Just listing books doesn't cut it. FYI, just in case some other compulsive wikipedian interested in this topic comes in sooner and gets rid of all the stuff that can't be easily independently sourced. :-) Carol Moore 22:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}

Yow, just wandered back and it's getting worse!! I've gone off on other tangents, but am tempted to delete away here, so please consider putting in some inline references for all the info in this article :-) Carol Moore 02:27, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

<---Indent comment from my talk page that belongs here....

why delete just for the sake of deletion?????


As a fellow compulsive wikipedian as you said of yourself, I say the following in complete respect.

Regarding editing; If you are going to make a proper page, that's great, but just going around wiki deleting things you think are opinions, unfounded, non-sourced, etc. seems as bad as the writers of the lines you are deleting.

I am basing this on the comments you made in the Sovereignty discussion.

"I would recommend that anyone who has sourced material in there they want to keep should start putting in references after assertions or sections, with page numbers if facts are from books. Just listing books doesn't cut it. FYI, just in case some other compulsive wikipedian interested in this topic comes in sooner and gets rid of all the stuff that can't be easily independently sourced. :-) Carol Moore 22:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)Carolmooredc {talk}
Yow, just wandered back and it's getting worse!! I've gone off on other tangents, but am tempted to delete away here, so please consider putting in some inline references for all the info in this article :-) Carol Moore 02:27, 16 November 2008 (UTC)"

Obviously if an entry contains completely useless junk like: "Obama is a muslim." or "Tony Blair is an idiot."

Then by all means delete that kind of stuff, if it even lasts.

However I don't see anything in the Sovereignty article that applies.

Does it need serious work? Of course it does, but just deleting for deletion's sake seems worse than any offense to Wikipedia guidelines that may be in the article.

Not trying to attack you personally, just the way you mention being "tempted to delete away."

Sometimes a piece of information with just a book listed and no page number is better than DELETING that piece of information.

I always assumed the reason for wiki guidelines and the ability to edit was to make Wikipedia BETTER for everyone, not to exercise some form of intellectual superiority or bibliographic Nazism if you will.

I feel it is one of the major problems with Wikipedia, right up there with vandalism and the alienation of expertise/overall quality issue.

This is obviously a debatable subject, my thoughts being opposite to the "Wikipedia is judged by its worst article" set.

All I can do is try to reason with people, all I can do is say (or type):

"Please do not delete things that may be useful to people seeking information just because they do not conform to the Wikipedia style guidelines."

Just a thought.


MaineGemCutter (talk) 00:54, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry if I sounded TOO capricious, but I like to sound dramatic so people who are putting in unsourced info, or who are paying attention and actually want to keep something in will do so. When I get into I myself only will add sourced info; I'll leave anything that is obviously true, and even source some of it. But there is a lot of WP:original research in there that needs to get tossed. Maybe I'll tag some of it. Carol Moore 13:43, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Quotation preceding the Lead paragraph.

Why should the Lassa Oppenheim quote be preceding the WP:LEAD paragraph? Shouldn't the lead paragraph (with the definition of Sovereignty) be the first paragraph (after any redirection notes)? (talk) 05:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Added section on medieval sovereignty

I was surprised that there was a lack of medieval sovereignty, and added a brief section on the Wife of Bath and Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell. There definitely should be something more about the nature of de jure local power noble ("sake and soke" a la Domesday England), as well as imperial power (Byzantium, Holy Roman Emperor, etc.) and the rise of the medieval nation-states (France, England, etc.). This'll do for now, I hope. --Petercorless (talk) 08:23, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


For someone who is studying sovereignty, this is all really confusing. It sounds to me like there is no clear cut definition on soveignty and no one truly understands how it can be applied to an individual person, entity, corporation, state, government etc. There needs to be a simple, clear cut, definition of the word and how it can be used regarding individuals, states, governments, etc. How many definitions will there be? How many ways can the word be used? How many ways can you apply the word? Will there be a separate legal definition vs. a standard dictionary version? I think all that I suggest would help those who simply want to know the meaning of a word, how to use it and how to apply it for their own personal benefit. The problem with this is that no one has agreed, thus far, and so in my eyes if there is no agreement on the definition of sovereign and no agreement on how to apply it then it doesn't truly exist and I can apply it as I see fit to do so.

I am not being ignorant, I'm simply noticing that there are multiple opinions about this and a word can mean whatever you decide it means for yourself. We, as humans, have defined objects and have defined words, therefore, we humans can redefine things as well. Sovereignty should apply to everyone.

- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The confusion is understandable - it is a very broad concept and you are right that people do not agree on what it means in a definitional sense, or how it should work in a practical way. The ambiguity is not entirely a byproduct of Wikipedia. People in the world as a whole are divided and unclear, and it is Wikipedia's job to reflect the world in all its complexity rather than to tidy it up. For inspiration could look at some words/concepts with similar problem: rights, law, legitimacy (political), and so on. Also, this article is pretty basic and needs a lot of work, so what you are seeing is a Wikipedia article in progress. A better version might start with the dictionary definition as you suggest, then clearly outline and organize the different applications so that if you are interested in one particular aspect of sovereignty (e.g. Native American tribes, US states, or European kings) you could go to that one. We have the beginnings of that but it could stand to be more clear. In the meanwhile, Wikipedia is a good jumping off places for further reading - if you want to spend the effort you can follow some of the references as good in depth reading matter. Wikidemon (talk) 16:45, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Sovereignty#Sovereignty and United States federalism

I added an “Original Research” tag to go along with the other two tags that have been posted, and evidently ignored, for over a year. I added some fact tags throughout, but the major problem throughout is that the section more resembles an essay than an encyclopedia article. Throughout there are opinions providing interpretations of primary source documents -- the problem is that the interpretations come from a wikipedia editor and not from reliable sources (see WP:PRIMARY).

There are so many problems with this section that my intent is, after a few weeks or so, to eliminate most of it and reduce it to a very brief one paragraph stub until either I or someone else starts to add reliably sourced material. I think Carol Moore at Talk:Sovereignty#Reference article or see it completely changed was accurate in her analysis.

In the meantime I eliminated a series of paragraphs that were set off by the sentence, “An update forwarded from the discussion page:”. Other than the obvious style problem, the material added was simply more undocumented, original research. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 21:33, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

I returned to implement the above and found another editor had already implemented the changes and renamed the section. Good job. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 14:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Three mini-states based in Rome???

In the article is written: "Another case, sui generis, though often contested, is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the third sovereign mini-state based in an enclave in the Italian capital". The first is the Vatican City. Who is the second? Alinor (talk) 09:20, 10 May 2009 (UTC)