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What is the difference between this two words?

Thanks in advance.
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Stephen, is this in relation to the American Civil War, by any chance? The Confederates were "the South" after they ceceded from the US, and the Federal troops were "the North."

If that's your context, Google "American Civil War" and you'll find out more than you ever wanted to.
...seceded, I believe.

Always a word I stumble over. But then, I almost never have to discuss the Civil War with my circle of friends, (though my brother-- may he rest in peace-- was a recognized expert on the subject).
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Whoops again. You are correct. My brother in law is from South Carolina. The "War of Northern Aggression" is still a hot topic there. Fortunately, it sounds the same when you say it out loud. Thanks for catching it.
as a matter of fact, this word still exists:

confederal
Function: adjective
: of or relating to a confederation (as that of the United States
under the Articles of Confederation)

but I for one wouldn't be able to tell how's different from "federal"
If you're not referring to the American Civil War, the difference is that a confederation is basically an alliance of independent organizations/states/countries, while a federation is a group organizations/states/countries that submit to a common authority. The distinction is that the parts that compose a confederation are autonomous and while those that compose a federation also have autonomy, they are ultimately controlled by a stronger and more powerful entity. Some examples of a confederation might be NATO (during the Cold War), the Holy Roman Empire (not the Roman Empire), the Delian League, and perhaps the European Union. The only concrete example of a federation that I can think of at the moment is the United States (although the autonomy of the states has been steadily diminishing over time), especially at its inception.

Edit: The Catholic Church might also be considered a federation.
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Thethenothere123The only concrete example of a federation that I can think of at the moment is the United States
Mexico and Germany are further examples for federations (federal republics).

Kajjo
we also have:

The Swiss Confederation or Switzerland

but check here, the terms used is federation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland
Switzerland is a federation of relatively autonomous cantons, some of
which have a history of confederacy that goes back more than 700
years, arguably putting them among the world's oldest surviving
republics.
Thank you guys~~Emotion: smile
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