Conglomeration of Entities or United States of America — Which One Will It Be?

Dr. Cynthia Alease Smith
4 min readSep 3, 2023

What is a conglomerate or conglomeration? Oxford Dictionary defines Conglomerates as “a number of different things or parts that are put or grouped together to form a whole but remain distinct entities.[1] Typically, this term is used for companies like Facebook and Amazon. For example, Facebook began at Harvard University in 2003 as Facemash, an online service for students to judge the attractiveness of their fellow students.[2] Jeff Bezos quit his job at an investment bank in 1994 to open a virtual bookstore, working out of his garage with a handful of employees, sold its first book in 1995[3] and today is called Amazon, “The Everything Store.”

The Cambridge Dictionary explains a conglomeration this way: a large group or mass of different things all collected together in a messy or unusual way.[4] For purposes of this essay, the Cambridge definition provides one of the best explanations for a conglomeration in terms of how the United States of America as a country could be considered. What started out as one colony turned into thirteen different things all collected together in a rather messy way: by theft of land from the indigenous people either through violence or coercion or both. Just like Cambridge, Oxford’s definition offers one of the best explanations as well, since each state can be considered a different part or thing that is grouped together to form a whole but still remains a distinct entity. Indeed, each state is its own entity, with its own laws, regulations, covenants, government, and governing body, but it is the United States of America or the Union of States.

There are certainly good examples of the United States as a conglomeration provided above, however, neither explanation of conglomeration mentions United or Union. Neither is represented as united, but rather distinct and sometimes unrelated. Within the context of a conglomeration, the question becomes, is the United States really United? Is it a Union of States as described by Abraham Lincoln during and after the Civil War?

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Dr. Cynthia Alease Smith

Anti-Racism Essayist & Educator offering discussions about Race, Racism, White Supremacy and the language used, from perspectives not ordinarily considered.