Prior to Reconstruction (1867–1868), the several states retained their sovereignty with the
exception of certain enumerated powers delegated to Congress. Our founders believed that
we needed to limit the scope of power in Washington, and — as stated in the tenth
amendment — "..powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
this time the federal government's authority over the citizens of each state was virtually
nonexistent. Our States were composed of free people ruled by local self-government. Originally, American Citizenship came from our State Citizenship. The American Union was
a federal union between several different and distinct States.