One of the 50 states (four of which officially favor the term commonwealth) which, together with the District of Columbia, form the United States of America. These separate state governments and the US federal government share sovereignty, in that an "American" is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of residence.
A state occupies a definite territory, has an organized government, and possesses internal and external sovereignty. The recognition of the state's claim to independence by other states, enabling the state to enter into international agreements.
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