CONFEDERACY, intern. law. An agreement between two or more states or nations, by which they unite for their mutual protection and good. This term is applied to such agreement between two independent nations, but it is used to signify the union of different states of the same nation, as the confederacy of the states.
2. The original thirteen states, in 1781, adopted for their federal government the " Articles of confederation and perpetual union between the States," which continued in force until the present constitution of the United States went into full operation, on the 30th day of April, 1789, when president Washington was sworn into office. Vide 1 Story on the Const. B. 2, c. 3 and 4.
CONFEDERACY, crim. law. An agreement between two or more persons to do an unlawful act, or an act, which though not unlawful in itself, becomes so by the confederacy. The technical term usually employed to signify this offence, is conspiracy. (q. v.)
CONFEDERACY, equity pleading. The fourth part of a bill in chancery usually charges a confederacy; this is either general or special.
2. The first is by alleging a general charge of confederacy between the defendants and other persons to injure or defraud the plaintiff. The common form of the charge is, that the defendants, combining and confederating together, to and with divers other persons as yet to the plaintiff unknown, but whose names, when discovered, he prays may be inserted in the bill, and they be made parties thereto, with proper and apt words to charge them with the premises, in order to injure and oppress the plaintiff in ti e premises, do absolutely refuse, &c. Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 40; Coop. Eq. Pl. 9 Story, Eq. Pl. 29; 1 Mont. Eq. Pl. 77; Barton, Suit in Eq. 33; Van Heyth. Eq. Drafts, 4.
3. When it is intended to rely on a confederacy or combination as a ground of equitable jurisdiction, the confederacy must be specially charged to justify an assumption of jurisdiction. Mitf. Eq. Pl. by Jeremy, 41; Story, Eq. Pl. 30.
4. A general allegation of confederacy is now considered as mere form. Story, Eq. Pl. 29; 4 Bouv. Inst. n. 4169.