The major subdivisions of the CNA are called interchangably "states" and "confederations". The original colonies are called "provinces" and have differing roles in the NC and SC, as Sobel says on page 57. Provincial governments in the NC are nontrivial but much less significant than the NC government. The SC was province based from the start (Georgia troops took New Orleans in 1795) and the central functions of the powerful NC government tended to pass to the national government after the Second Design. The other "states" have strong central governments. Sobel's terminology overall is far from consistent.
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