What would life be like if there was no central government?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Life without any centralized government would be very different than it is now.  We cannot be sure of exactly how different it would be because we do not know what sort of deals states might make with one another.  However, with no central government, the country would be more like the United Nations than like the United States today.

If there were no central government whatsoever, the United States would be very weak.  We would likely have no real military power to speak of.  Every state would be responsible for its own defense.  The economy would be much weaker.  There would be trade barriers between states.  This would make it more expensive, for example, for California to buy electricity from Washington state.  This sort of thing would make everything more expensive and less widely available.

If there were no central government, the environment would be much worse.  States with a river running through them would have little incentive to keep it clean, particularly in areas where the river was about to leave their state.  States would be more likely to allow air pollution if the prevailing winds were likely to blow it from their state.

In short, life with absolutely no central government would be very different.  The US would be much weaker and much poorer than it is now.