Sovereign Citizen Crackpot Theories

The United States Is A Corporation? (Or It Can Be An Elephant) …

Shortlink for this blog entry:

Note: The “claim(s)” shown are those attributed to many adherents to a variety of theories, especially those who call themselves sovereign citizens. This blog is one of several used to address specific claims in detail; the menu of my responses are shown at this link: 

 The background perspective of the Sovereign Citizen movement is at this link


Claimed: The United States is a Corporation, Not a Sovereign Nation
Claimed: There is no nation, never was, the Constitution created a corporation from the start.

Claimed: In 1871 The Congress created a commercial charter/ Constitution for the US, and made us into a corporation headquartered in the District of Columbia, not a nation.
(The Act of 1871 Theory) & therefore The Constitution used now is not the same one
adopted in 1791.

Claimed: The Congress of 1861 adjourned and was dissolved and all acts of Congress thereafter are invalid.

Claimed: 28 USC 3002 proves the US is a corporation.

Claimed: The US government only has authority over Federal Lands and Possessions
(Federal Zone Theory)

Claimed: We’re a Delaware Corporation



Or so it is said; there are a number of bases on which this claim is made, many of which simply defy any exploration, they are announcements not arguments supported by law or historical fact. Where “facts” or an explanation is offered, it will be checked and explored here.

Spoiler: The facts turn out not to be facts. It’s wishful thinking.


The Quick Answer & Proof
The U.S. and The States Are Sovereign,
Run by Governments not Corporations

Being sovereign, not corporations, they are rather governments created by Constitutions; and sovereign states, based not on individual but collective sovereignty… and here is the proof:

“From the Crown of Great Britain, the sovereignty of their country passed to the people of itand thirteen sovereignties were considered as emerged from the principles of the Revolution …and then the people, in their collective and national capacity, established the present Constitution…

Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves in a certain manner… the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

That accounts for a national collective sovereignty of the people and state collective sovereignties of the people; and the Constitution allows the creation of new states on an equal footing with the original thirteen.  (Note well “govern” is what a government does; and a government is not a mere corporation.)

“… every State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory
Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878

Not just jurisdiction but sovereignty as well. So much for individual sovereigns.

The People collectively are sovereign and have authority over the government. The government has authority (jurisdiction and sovereignty) over individuals, persons, humans. That’s how it works.

“In the United States, sovereignty resides in the people who act through the organs established by the Constitution. … The Congress as the instrumentality of sovereignty is endowed with certain powers to be exerted on behalf of the people in the manner and with the effect the Constitution ordains…”
Perry v. US (1935) 294 U.S. 330 (1935)

The meaning of the words “United States” in a law regarding customs duty came into question. Were the Philippine Islands (then a US possession) a part of the United States for customs duty purposes or not?  The Supreme Court explained the term can be used in several ways. It ultimately decided for the purpose of those laws that a U.S. possession was not part of the United States as the law intended. The explanation of the different ways the term United States can be used shows the US is sovereign:

“The term “United States” may be used in any one of several senses. It may be merely the name of a sovereign occupying the position analogous to that of other sovereigns in the family of nations. It may designate the territory over which the sovereignty of the United States extends, or it may be the collective name of the states which are united by and under the Constitution.
Hooven & Allison Co. v. Evatt 324 U.S. 652 (1945)

Acts of Congress are LAWS; corporations do not make law.

“Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, …it shall become a law…
Article I Section 7 U.S. Constitution  

State Statutes are LAWS; corporations do not make law.

The Legislature may make no law except by statute and may enact no statute except by bill.
California Constitution, Article IV Section 8(b) (1)

And every other state has a body in which the Legislative power resides; which the power that makes laws.

Why the U.S. Is Not a Corporation

“We may say in passing that the argument that the United States may be treated as a corporation organized under its own laws, that is, under the Constitution as the fundamental law, seems so strained as not to merit serious consideration .
United States V. Cooper Corporation, 312 U.S. 600 (1941) 312 U.S. 600

What is a Corporation anyway?

The word ‘corporate’ is from the Latin ‘corpus‘ meaning ‘body’. As the concept evolved over time, groups of people acting in concert wanted to or needed to have the ability to act as a single person to accomplish those ends. And the law came to allow them to take the form they sought as an ‘in-corporation’ (to put in corpus, in a body) or creating them into a single body for legal purposes. A corporation survives the people who created it for one thing. And it has the powers given to it by a higher law or entity such as a state.

There is some misunderstanding however in that people think a corporation is ‘a business’ — that is simply the most common form of incorporation. There are numerous types of corporations. Governments can be municipal corporations. Some are. It’s a convenient legal identity to assume. That applies only to lesser governments, creations of States or of the United States, because sovereigns cannot be corporations, as corporations are subject to the law. They are created under the terms of some specific law or laws. (And those laws have to come from some legislature…)

Corporations have only the powers given to them by the laws of the state or nation that allow them to come into existence (and for any corporation they are further limited to those specified in their charter); businesses, non-profits, educational, municipal and other types of corporations are distinct in what they can do.) They also are vulnerable to the law, to be sued for example, or to enter into contracts.

People exist because they do, but corporations exist only because of some law.

Without a law authorizing the creation of corporations, they can’t exist. They are under the control of some higher power (not in the religious sense) and cannot exist outside of a framework of law. 

Sovereign governments exist because of the people.

If the U.S. is a corporation we should be able to get answers to some questions:

  • Where is the law that allowed the US to incorporate?

If the US is not a nation, not sovereign, it cannot pass a law allowing itself to incorporate. It didn’t exist until it incorporated, right? Also, if it can pass such a law then it must be sovereign, because corporations don’t make laws.

Which doesn’t matter because it did not incorporate and there is simply no law nor any act of Incorporation to be found anywhere.

And corporations don’t need a contract to take action, especially governmental corporations. They have the powers given to them by their charter.  Making contracts is an important power, especially for business corporations, but it is not the only way for government corporations to relate or act. They can pass laws called Ordinances for example. Government corporations can exercise the Police Power if delegated that power by their State. That’s why we call them government corporations.

The problem sovereign citizens encounter in pressing the “corporate” United States claim is that there would have to be some provision in law that allows creation of corporations, and another that creates the U.S. as a corporation. Some higher entity, a government, a sovereign, would have to pass laws to authorize it to incorporate! And it can’t pass a law as a corporation, that allows it to become a corporation. The head is swallowing the tail here!

  • What is that entity? Where are its laws?
  • Where and when did the United States incorporate?

There is no answer. This would be found in the Articles of Incorporation but there are none…we will show none of the proposed answers to these question is correct as well.

The Constitution does not call the U.S. a corporation, nor specify the laws under which it became one or under which it operates.

“We may say in passing that the argument that the United States may be treated as a corporation organized under its own laws, that is, under the Constitution as the fundamental law, seems so strained as not to merit serious consideration .
United States V. Cooper Corporation, 312 U.S. 600 (1941) 312 U.S. 600

There is a definition of the powers of the Federal government but that is because our union splits the inherent powers of a sovereign nation between the States and the Federal government, giving the Federal government enumerated (listed) powers, and reserving those powers not enumerated to the states or to the people of the states.

  • Under what jurisdiction and laws?

There is no answer. No State acknowledges the incorporation of either the US or the State itself.  But a corporation can only be created under the laws of some sovereign State; and it doesn’t exist until it so incorporates. It’s rights and obligations are a matter of law. There must be a superior entity , a law-making authority, to allow it to incorporate.

  • Where are the Articles of incorporation?

It’s not the Constitution — which does not describe a corporation nor who owns it or how it is to be run. The word corporate does not appear anywhere in it. It does not identify under what law it establishes its corporate identity. But some who make those claims say that there is a specific law incorporating the U.S. (or they don’t, take your choice…some just say it’s so or that ‘bankruptcy’ somehow made it so… If I go bankrupt do I become a government? A corporation? No.)

If they give a place in law where that happened they usually identify one of two laws, the District of Columbia Act of 1871 and the provisions of 28 USC 3002 which we will examine in turn later in this blog.

  • In what court can I sue the United States without their permission?

Sovereigns cannot be sued without their consent; they are in control and the law cannot be applied against them. Corporations can be sued without permission, just like any person can be.

Where is there a court that can hear that case?

  • Who is “in” or part of, or owns the USA, Inc?

Some say the Constitution does not apply to them as it creates a private corporation among those who agreed to it.

  • Well that means no one at all.

No individual acting as an individual signed or ratified the Constitution, they signed as representatives of their States and their People; so it’s an absurd suggestion…

  • They say corporations have no power to regulate travel;
    but what
    corporation has the power to kill people? 

Is the Death Penalty a contract provision then? I suggest that is beyond the power of any corporation.

The States and the Federal government are not acting as Corporations. They were not founded under any law as corporations; we can trace the sovereignty they claim back to the United Kingdom.

  • Can I use the courts and jails of Microsoft, or Apple instead?

I hear the cafeteria food  is a lot better.

Why does all that matter?

Sovereign citizens want to characterize the government as a corporation, because everyone “knows” (or at least believes) that you have to choose to ‘do business’ or interact with a corporation in order to have any relationship with it. And obviously if it’s a corporation there is some law that controls it, it cannot be sovereign. A corporation has no claim on your obedience or loyalty.

And while many people who latch onto these ideas are just naive, some who pursue them are people who desperately want to be immune from the law, because they are criminals, who use the sovereign citizen theories to break laws, commit frauds, assault and murder police and judges and maybe you and me.

Courts and legislatures and executives of every state and the US unanimously say they are sovereign, and the key characteristic of a sovereignty is that it actually exercise effective and independent control over a territory and its inhabitants. If it does that it IS sovereign.

When these governments claim they exercise control over you; and when they do exercise control over  everyone in the geography, those are the actions of a sovereign.

They say they can take you to jail or try you in court for a crime and they do it. That alone makes them sovereign

It’s not a philosophical status, it’s a completely practical one. If you act like, look like a sovereign, that’s what you are.

Sovereign citizens say that by ignoring our laws that’s what they are doing; being sovereign. But they miss the fact that if someone else can exercise effective control over the sovereign self they are claiming to be, say by putting them on trial and in jail, they are not sovereign after all…

Congress has never passed a law allowing or creating or making the United States of America, our nation, nor the United States, our Government, into a corporation (nor does it have that power under the Constitution nor any other law).  So the Constitution is not a corporate charter allowing us to do business but not to compel people. Laws are not corporate by-laws. There is no document anywhere that creates these purported situations.

Claim: There is no nation and never was, the Constitution created a corporation from the beginning.

I quote the argument presented at the American Friends Patriot Network APFN yet it contains no facts, sources, or references to back it up; believe what you believe on faith.  Remember you can fantasize it’s so, nevertheless you will find the courts will act as if it were not so and they can and will force you to comply, take your possessions, and throw you in jail if you act on this theory. If this is what you believe without proof, and nothing logical will change your mind, keep that in mind and then just go away.

According to APFN:

U.S. Inc. is Distinct and Separate From PRIVATE AMERICANS

We the People” who created and signed the contract/compact/agreement of, by, and for the Constitutional Corporation (U.S.); using the trade name of the “United States of America”, is a corporate entity (legal fiction) which is DISTINCT AND SEPARATE from Americans or the un-enfranchised people of America. The private natural American people did not create the corporation of the United States. The United States Inc. did not create the private natural American people. America and Americans were in existence prior to the creation of the United States Corporation. The United States Corporation has located its U.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C. Virginia [sic] state (state territory) gave land to the newly formed United States Corporation. Notice, here, we have a state giving something of value (land) to the United States. The United States Corporation agreed in the Constitutional contract, to protect the states. Instead, because of their bankruptcy (Corporate U.S. Bankruptcy) this particular U.S. corporation has enslaved the states and the people by deception and at the will of their foreign banksters [sic] with whom they have been doing business. Our fore fathers [sic] gave their lives and property to prevent enslavement. Today, we are again enslaved.

Private natural American people have been tricked, deceived, and setup to carry the U.S. Inc. perpetual corporate debt under bankruptcy laws. Every time Americans appear in court, the corporate U.S. bankruptcy is being administrated against them without their knowledge and lawful consent. That is FRAUD. All corporate bankruptcy administration is done by “Public Policy” of by and for the Mother Corporation (U.S. Inc.).

 There you have it; there is no nation, merely a shell corporation owned by some unnamed bunch of people which is bent on enslavement of the people who are ‘un-enfranchised’.

BTW the District of Columbia is today located solely on land ceded by MARYLAND — not that accuracy matters.

If that’s what they choose to believe, so be it, but of course the laws and Courts do not respect that interpretation, and I do believe the rational and reasonable people of America know this for what it is: 100% finest quality bunkum.  Under what law does the U.S. Inc. do business? Where did it file for Bankruptcy?

The Supreme Court does not seem to be unclear in this ruling:

We may say in passing that the argument that the United States may be treated as a corporation organized under its own laws, that is, under the Constitution as the fundamental law, seems so strained as not to merit serious consideration .
United States V. Cooper Corporation, 312 U.S. 600 (1941) 312 U.S. 600

 Indeed that case also identifies the United States as sovereign, with a long discussion of the effect of its sovereignty on a particular law. Sovereigns cannot be sued unless they agree to be, which was the point in contention, did the Congress intend to allow suits under the law under discussion:

The sovereignty of the United States raises a presumption against its suability unless it is clearly shown; nor should a court enlarge its liability to suit conferred beyond what the language [of the statute in question] requires.”
Eastern Transportation Co. v. United States, 272 U. S. 675, 272 U. S. 686

So let us look at a few more Supreme Court decisions that explicitly say the federal and state governments are in fact sovereign.

“From the Crown of Great Britain, the sovereignty of their country passed to the people of it… *and thirteen sovereignties were considered as emerged from the principles of the Revolution* ….and then the people, in their collective and national capacity, established the present Constitution… *Every State Constitution is a compact made by and between the citizens of a State to govern themselves* in a certain manner the Constitutions of the states and *the Constitution of the United States is likewise a compact made by the people of the United States to govern themselves*
Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 2 Dall. 419 419 (1793)

“The several States of the Union are not, it is true, in every respect independent, many of the right and powers which originally belonged to them being now vested in the government created by the Constitution. But, *except as restrained and limited by that instrument, they possess and exercise the authority of independent States*, and the principles of public law to which we have referred are applicable to them… One of these principles is that *every State possesses exclusive jurisdiction and sovereignty over persons and property within its territory*
Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714 (1878)

“In the United States, sovereignty resides in the people who act through the organs established by the Constitution. Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 Dall. 419, 471; Penhallow v. Doane’s Administrators, 3 Dall. 54, 93; McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 404, 405; Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 , 6 S.Ct. 1064. “The Congress as the instrumentality of sovereignty is endowed with certain powers to be exerted on behalf of the people in the manner and with the effect the Constitution ordains. The Congress cannot invoke the sovereign power of the people to override their will as thus declared. The powers conferred upon the Congress are harmonious. “The Constitution gives to the Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States, an unqualified power, a power vital to the government, upon which in an extremity its very life may depend. The binding quality of the promise of the United States is of the essence of the credit which is so pledged. Having this power to authorize the issue of definite obligations for the payment of money borrowed, the Congress has not been vested with authority to alter or destroy those obligations. “The fact that the United States may not be sued without its consent is a matter of procedure which does not affect the legal and binding character of its contracts. “While the Congress is under no duty to provide remedies through the courts, the contractual obligation still exists, and, despite infirmities of procedure, remains binding upon the conscience of the sovereign. Lynch v. United States, supra, pages 580, 582, of 292 U.S. 54 S.Ct. 840.”
Perry v. US (1935) 294 U.S. 330-381, 79LEd 912

the right to“use the public streets…  is not an absolute and unqualified right. It is subject to be limited and controlled by the sovereign authority — the State, whenever necessary to provide for and promote the safety, peace, health, morals, and general welfare of the people. To secure these and kindred benefits is the purpose of organized government, and to that end may the power of the State, called its police power, be used. By exercise of that power, through legislative enactments, individuals may be subjected to restraints . . . if manifestly necessary to . . . secure and advance the safety, comfort and prosperity of its people. And it is a fundamental law that no constitutional guarantee is violated by such an exercise of the police power of the State when manifestly necessary and tending to secure such general and public benefits.
STATE v. PELLETIER  587 A.2d 1100, (Me. 1991)

Decisions both before and after 1871 say the US is sovereign AS ARE THE STATES. It is stated formally in the first four years of its existence. There was no claim that the U.S. was a corporation at the time. No challenge to U.S. Sovereignty was sustained and the only real incident we find was The Whiskey Rebellion. And the U.S. certainly did not assert it had a contract with those rebels, it asserted the law and used force to ensure its sovereignty was respected.


Here is the claim:

“The date is February 21, 1871 and the Forty-First Congress is in session. I refer you to the “Acts of the Forty-First Congress,” Section 34, Session III, chapters 61 and 62. On this date in the history of our nation, Congress passed an Act titled: “An Act To Provide A Government for the District of Columbia.” This is also known as the “Act of 1871.” What does this mean? Well, it means that Congress, under no constitutional authority to do so, created a separate form of government for the District of Columbia, which is a ten mile square parcel of land.

“In essence, this Act formed the corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. Note the capitalization, because it is important. This corporation, owned by foreign interests, moved right in and shoved the original “organic” version of the Constitution into a dusty corner. With the “Act of 1871,” our Constitution was defaced in the sense that the title was block-capitalized and the word “for” was changed to the word “of” in the title. The original Constitution drafted by the Founding Fathers, was written in this manner…
“Capitalization — an insignificant change? Not when one is referring to the context of a legal document, it isn’t. Such minor alterations have had major impacts on each subsequent generation born in this country. What the Congress did with the passage of the Act of 1871 was create an entirely new document, a constitution for the government of the District of Columbia. The kind of government THEY created was a corporation. The new, altered Constitution serves as the constitution of the corporation, and not that of America. Think about that for a moment.”

Indeed, think about that; these are the key claims:

  • First, Congress did not have the power to create a government over the District of Columbia.I don’t know why that matters, but its not so; Congress absolutely does have that power.

Congress shall have the powerTo exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States…
Art I Sec 8

 This power granted in the Constitution gives the Congress and Federal government the right to control the District, and the Supreme Court has held that within the District, Congress has at least the same power as a State would have within its own borders. In otherwise it can do things that are normally only in the sphere of state power for that small area, such as run public schools, have a police department, or marry people, or tax land ownership.

  • Second, Congress in passing the District of Columbia Act of 1871 created a corporation called THE UNITED STATES (“Note the capitalization, because it is important.“) and gave it a commercial version of our Constitution and enacted it for all of the nation…presumably with the same provisions the original Constitution had but only applicable to those who contract with the corporation.
    But here is what it says:

…all that part of the territory of the United States included within the limits of the District of Columbia be and the same is hereby created into
a government by the name of the District of Columbia

  • Third, Capitalization counts
    Set that aside for a moment because it turns out that in fact it doesn’t matter since the CAPITALIZED words are not actually found anywhere in the law;
  • Fourth, there is a significant distinction in using the words “Constitution forversus “Constitution of  the United States. Apparently this is to prove that there are two Constitutions, the real original one and the fake corporate charter replacement…as we shall see that is not true (correct, accurate) in any sense whatever.


Problem 1: Anyone making these claims has simply failed to read the actual law that Congress passed.

Here is the first clause, which couldn’t be more clear:

That all that part of the territory of the United States included within the limits of the District of Columbia be, and the same is hereby created into a government by the name of the District of Columbia by which name it is hereby constituted a body corporate for municipal purposes and may contract and be contracted with, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, have a seal, and exercise all powers of a municipal corporation not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States and the provisions of this act.”
District of Columbia Act of 1871

If you follow the link to “An Act To Provide a Government for the District of Columbia” which starts at the bottom of the page (419) linked, you find it does exactly what it says.

It establishes a Governor, a Legislative Council, specifies their qualifications, and sets their pay and how they are to be elected, what moneys they can spend for what purpose and how it must be accounted for; and deals with other mundane matters for the District and the District only.

It does not create a “Constitution” — not even for the District — nor does it say the government created is for nor of “The United States” (capitalized or otherwise)…and it manifestly does not contain nor refer to an abridged nor any other version of the Constitution of 1789, except the Constitution itself!

Where does that do anything like what they said?

  • Where is the corporation created that goes by the name of THE UNITED STATES…?
    Capitalization didn’t HAPPEN much less matter! Instead a government... by the name of
    the District of Columbia
    …is created.
  • Where is the NEW constitution for the US? Or Rather the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES? Where is the new title? It does refer to the Constitution of the United States but it doesn’t ‘create’ one in any sense. The only reference is that it does say that the DC Government cannot violate the “Constitution of the United States.”
    And as we shall see, “of” or “for” is not a real distinction.
  • Where is the text of the new Constitution? When Courts rule on Constitutional provisions, according to the sovereign citizens they must be ruling on this 1871 document.Read it, and show me the First Amendment, or the procedure for electing a President, or the Powers of Congress the Supreme Court– none of that is in there! Governor, Legislative Assembly, department heads, salaries, yadda yadda, no constitution for of or about anything at all! Certainly no Congress, President, Supreme Court. It’s just not there! No Board of Directors either.

Constitution FOR vs Constitution OF

As part of the Act theory or sometimes separately, it is claimed that the Constitution of the United States is a different document than the Constitution for the United States.

That is important in the claim that there is a new version, and it’s a corporate charter, but the 1871 Act is the only place I’ve seen identified as the source. And of course there is no change to the Constitution in that law, nor could there be. The Constitution cannot be altered, rescinded, deleted, or changed by Congressional legislation.

However as to the difference between ‘of’ and ‘for’…Look at the Constitution’s preamble:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,… do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

So they say the real Constitution is the one with ‘for’ in its title; but it’s not so.
I will make the meaning very obvious:

“We…ordain and establish this Constitution[,]
for the United States of America.”

The constitution is created ‘for‘ the United States in the Preamble – that’s not a TITLE that’s an EXPLANATION of an ACTION. And that’s what the entire preamble is about, explaining what they are doing and why.

It’s simple English. No title involved. But the sovereigns insist that it’s a title and changing one word when referring to it makes a different document come into existence…which is pretty strange in and of itself.

But that’s not all even if they were right the Constitution refers to itself. From the Presidential Oath of office: 

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States.”     
Art II Sec 1

Therefore, it is clear from the Constitution itself that the Constitutional Convention   — if you insist — may have referred to both a “Constitution for the United States of America” and a “Constitution of the United States,without drawing any distinction between them. They are the same thing and both are used in the same original document. And capitalization didn’t happen and doesn’t matter.

Of course there is only ONE Constitution. There isn’t even a second document anywhere to look at.

And in any event it is surely not in the Act of 1871, which when it mentions the Constitution, extends the protections of the Constitution to the District, and it applies it to the municipal government of the District of Columbia; saying it can “exercise all powers of a municipal corporation not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States…”

I think any reasonable person would read that law and dismiss the sovereign argument out of hand. But we don’t deal with merely the reasonable…

More lies:

“Then you must understand the environmental nature of the relationship.” With that in mind let’s consider the events of the time: the Civil War had recently ended and the country was still under Lincoln’s Conscription Act (Martial Law).

Recently? Six years since the Civil War ended would hardly be “recent” for most purposes. That’s longer than the Civil War itself.

I am unable to find any law using as a search term “Lincoln’s Conscription Act (Martial Law)“or anything close to that. The best I could come up with was the 1863 Enrollment Act (modified 1865) which dealt with conscription; and I know the Army was not conscripting anyone in 1871. 

The reference to Martial Law is even greater nonsense. Conscription had nothing to do with Martial Law and it was surely not in the Enrollment Act. Martial Law was emphatically not in effect in 1871In fact martial law was never in effect nationwide; nor in all the South; nor in all the rebellious states; when it was in effect it was declared locally by local commanders.

What “Team Law” is doing is mis-characterizing Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus (nothing to do with martial law), and which was found unconstitutional in Ex Parte Milligan 71 U.S. 2 (1866) 71 U.S. 2 (Wall.) December Term, 1866 and trying to make you think it had something to do with Martial Law, or Conscription and even more that it has some connection with 1871 and the creation of an elected District government.

None of that makes ANY sense, they have NOTHING to do with this! They go to great lengths to give this “context” for the law (and it is a false context) but they never tie the context into anything meaningful.

  • If it were so, what does conscription or martial law six years prior have to do with the Act or the reason it was passed? How does any of that transform the government created into a private corporation??

Nothing.  They don’t show how it matters. Because there is no connection at all. It’s not true and it doesn’t matter that it’s not true.

Next we will see “Team Liars” make an astonishing sleight of hand, where one reality is supplanted by a complete fiction without any logical connection.

  • Because, they say, there was a preexisting municipal corporation, Congress cannot create a “first” one  and therefore they created a private one.

How does that follow? That is not in any way logical, there is no connection between those facts, and they aren’t true anyway!

It is a fact Congress created a government explicitly chartered to run the District and only the District, and created and chartered it as a municipal, not private, corporation.

  • Team Law replaced one thing with another not even remotely supported by any fact, any document nor any logical link.
  • Congress did not say it was making “the first” such government or municipal corporation (nor would that matter).
  • It did not call it an “Organic Act” as we’ve seen. Nor would it matter.
  • Congress has the absolute authority to do what it wants in the District, as Team Law admits. 
  • And I submit it is irrelevant if Congress created a second government (and by implication repealed the first municipal corporation) and misnamed it.
  • And it surely doesn’t make that corporation a private one!
  • And of course none of that happened!

We also note Congress reserved the right, granted them in said Constitution, to pass and enforce virtually any law within the District of Columbia; …Thus, Congress can lawfully use Corp. U.S. as they see fit, within that portion of the ten mile square defined as the District of Columbia.

Where did “Corp US” come from?

Suddenly this is not the defined, named government of the District of Columbia, a municipal corporation somehow it is “Corp US”.

That name is not found  in any law least of all the Act of 1871.

It is a fabrication; a lie.No name other than “a government by the name of the District of Columbia”  is created by that law. Wave the wand and turn a government into a private corporation and rename it. No law did it; it must be magical. 

Respectively (through that authority); the members of Congress now wore two hats; one hat for their original jurisdiction government official seat and a second more effective hat as as a corporate board member titled with the same names: “Congressman”; “Representative” or “Senator”; the President also effectively wore two similar hats.

More magic. There is no reference to any board in that law, nor are Congressmen nor Senators appointed to any part of the government by the name of the District of Columbia .

They are saying that when Congress changed the DC government from one run by the Congress and President, however they wished to run it, in the territory of the District; into a government run by the people of the District; and limited to the territory of the District; they made the Congress dictators over the district without restraint.

And Board members of a corporation whose charter has no Board.

This is magic!

It is also a complete lie. It is the direct opposite of what actually happened!  

Thus, our historical records and laws clearly show that Corp. U.S. is not merely an incorporated municipality; rather, it is a private Corporation that was lawfully created by our original jurisdiction government…. the people would have to remain more vigilant to make sure that such a corporation was not used to extend authoritarian power beyond bounds of said District to usurp authoritarian styled power over the people of the nation by force.

Claiming this “clearlyshows what it does not show in any way shape or form, we have “Non-Fact presented as Fact”.

This does not demonstrate that the incorporated municipality is anything but that.

It provides no reason for it to somehow become a private corporation. They justify it with nonsense words that they attribute to the law but aren’t actually in there. They go on to praise their ability to educate readers as to the law.

And that “government for the District of Columbia” has no authority beyond the District.

The irony is so thick you’ll need a diamond blade hacksaw to cut it.

Where is the corporation called THE UNITED STATES? …oh ok, where did the name Corp US come from?  Where is the New CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES? Where is the Board of this private corporation that is never created to be found?

Even worse.

Suppose this somehow mysteriously created a private corporation, it did not transform the United States of America itself, nor its government; into a corporation.  Whatever it did was limited to the District and its government.

It did not yield the sovereignty of the nation in any way. The whole idea could not be more ridiculous.

Congress does not have the power to amend the Constitution nor to replace it.

Problem 2: That law had a very short history. In 1874, Congress replaced the District’s territorial government with an appointed three-member Board of Commissioners. Direct rule by Congress would continue for nearly a century until the passage of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act in 1973.

So apparently we are NOW being governed under a law that existed for barely three years and was repealed 140+ years ago and no longer exists; and it’s Board of Directors — which never existed; an Act that no one who makes these claims bothers to actually read, because it doesn’t do ANY of that!

The Act of 1871 did not turn the U.S. Into a Corporation. The United States of America is sovereign under the collective sovereignty of its people; the United States federal government established by the Constitution exercises that sovereign power on behalf of the people.

Congress could not if it wished turn United States of America the  into a corporation. Congress does not have the power to amend the Constitution nor to replace it.

The Congress of 1861 Adjourned and Was Dissolved and
All Acts of Congress Thereafter Are Invalid.

This one was interesting; it starts with a few facts then spins off into wild fantasy about how Congress works. A little research gave me the facts. Let’s visit a site called Freedom’s Phoenix  that make these claims.

A number of errors are presented as facts there.

FACT: The term of the 37th Congress, and its First Session, by law and Constitution, began on March 4, 1861.

“Seven southern nation States of America walked out of the Second Session of the Thirty-sixth Congress on March 27, 1861”

Later the site explains that the President on April 15, 1861 reconvened Congress, by Proclamation 1.

On April 15, 1861,
President Lincoln reconvened Congress under the Executive branch
by proclamation (number 1):

“I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution,
convene both Houses of Congress.”

Ceasar [sic](President) is now in full control even over the Senate (Congress).

A Presidential dictatorship has been imposed on U.S. citizens. The sad thing is, “Most American people do not realize it yet.”

The quote contains and promotes a lie which the comment reinforces (and you can click the link and read it yourself to see if I’m lying…)

FACT: The first part of the proclamation called out the militia of the states; that’s  “under the Executive Branch” but the words “executive branch” do not appear anywhere in the proclamation.

Now therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, and the laws, have thought fit to call forth, and hereby do call forth, the militia of the several States of the Union, to the aggregate number of seventy-five thousand, in order to suppress said combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed.

The second part is much later in the document and reads:

Deeming that the present condition of public affairs presents an extraordinary occasion, I do hereby, in virtue of the power in me vested by the Constitution, convene both Houses of Congress. Senators and Representatives are therefore summoned to assemble at their respective chambers, at 12 o’clock, noon, on Thursday, the fourth day of July, next, then and there to consider and determine, such measures, as, in their wisdom, the public safety, and interest may seem to demand.

FACT: On the first day of that Congress, March 27, 1861 the Houses of Congress recessed “sine die — “without day” — which normally means they will not reconvene, and did so as result of lack of a quorum in the House, although the Senate did decide that some of the Senators from Southern States had in fact resigned and their seats were vacant, thus not counted for the purpose of a quorum. Over time all the empty seats were determined to be vacated.

So the claim goes that there was no way for Congress to legally reconvene, and when it did it was an invalid Congress, in effect that Congress was dissolved. 

FACT. There is no constitutional provision for the dissolution of Congress. Congress is elected for a fixed term and whether it convenes or transacts business, etc. is irrelevant; it continues to exist and can convene if it wishes.

However that is all ephemera, because

FACT: The Constitution provides that the President:

 …may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them;
(Art II Sec 3)

FACT:  That is exactly what happened; and what he said in the Proclamation. This was not “under the Executive Branch” it was a power granted him“under the Constitution” specifically, Article II Section 3 

Congress did convene and carried on (with a quorum) doing the people’s business.

FACT: The 38th Congress was duly elected and took office on March 4, 1863

Contrary to the assertions, this does not make the amendments from XIII onward invalid, nor was any Congress, and certainly not any subsequent Congress, unable to take lawful action and fulfill its duties, or pass legislation, including proposing Constitutional Amendments.

It’s just Mr Magoo legal research. “… don’t use your eyes.”


Federal Law SAYS the US is a Corporation?

The 28 USC 3002 Argument

Generally in the law “The United States” refers to the Federal Government where “The United States of America” refers to the union of the 50 states. (But even that has to be decided in specific context.)

Some assert the truth is to be found in a particular Federal law, Title 28, Part VI, Chapter 176, Subchapter A, Section 3002 of the US Code (USC) is the definition section for a law about how the Federal Government can collect debts owed to it.

Usually those trying to show the US is a corporation will post this:

(15) “United States” means—
(A) a Federal corporation;

At first glance that sounds pretty persuasive, doesn’t it? But they forgot to include the parts that don’t fit their story as so often happens with these “internet lawyers.”

The correct way to quote this — which will not make the point they want to make — would be: 

28 USC 3002 Definitions

As used in this chapter: ….

(15) “United States” means—
(A) a Federal corporation;
(B) an agency, department, commission, board, or other entity of the United States; or

(C) an instrumentality of the United States.

As used in this chapter:”

Whatever does that mean?

It means that the terms are used nowhere but in this specific law, Chapter 176 and all the provisions in 176.And no other place. These words cannot be used to understand a state law, for example, unless the state law refers to this section.

It is defining which parts of the government are allowed to use this law to collect debts as per the procedures in the law, by defining who is included in the term “United States” in this law only.

So if it said “The United States can garnish a paycheck” for example, the definition of United States tells who can actually get a court order to do that.

Indeed, this argument is a great example of what I call “Mr. Magoo Legal Researchall done without reading.”

If the U.S. were in fact a corporation that would not be the case, and indeed the definition would read “The United States, a Federal Corporation.”  or “The United States is a Federal Corporation.” There would be no reason to restrict the definition to just one Chapter.

What they want is to interpret the quote to mean:

The United States IS a Federal Corporation,” 

Then (C) must say that:

(c) “The United States is an instrumentality of the United States”

An absurd result. …

(b) “The United States is an agency, department, commission, board, or other entity of the United States”

Plain English folks. It doesn’t mean what they want to think it means.

This is not how definitions work; “means” is not “is”. Definitions don’t create facts, they explain how words are used. But that’s the principle they suggest — definitions create realities rather than reflect them.

So by defining the US as a Federal Corporation (which the law does not do anyway) it becomes one?

No. No more than if it said “The United States is an elephant” it would become one.

This interpretation also demonstrates how reading out of context and without knowing basic legal principles, even basic grammar, creates ridiculous assertions of non-fact …and as to context “As used in this chapter”  shows those words merely explain how to understand  the particular legal provisions of Chapter 176.

So for example within Chapter 17:

28 USC 3101 (a) Application:

(1) The United States may, in a proceeding in conjunction with the complaint or at any time after the filing of a civil action on a claim for a debt, make application under oath to a court to issue any prejudgment remedy. 

In that provision, where it says “The United States” you would substitute the entities specified in 3002 (A) (B) or (C).

Wait, what IS a Federal Corporation?

You will likely have heard of many, such as the Atomic Energy Commission, the FCC, FDIC, etc. There’s a list of others in APPENDIX A of this document (pdf only) at  and it shows the law that created each. 

Clearly  “a federal corporation” isn’t the whole government but a part of it created by law.

For a further analysis of this issue  check out

The errors made here are taking things out of context and not being clear what a ‘definition’ is as opposed to an enactment; belief that defining a word makes the definition act upon the thing defined.

Saying “as we use it here when we say ‘United States’ we mean any of the following three things” is nowhere close to acknowledgement of a non-fact, it simply does not say the U.S. IS a corporation, and it most certainly does not MAKE the U.S. a corporation.

By saying the words “United States means an elephant,” would that law make the US an elephant?  Evidently some people think so…

You cannot take the words of a definition in a statute and use them elsewhere willy-nilly because the law and definition tell you what the word means when used as that law specifies.  Thus,  “as used in this Chapterfor example. Using it anywhere else is an invalid application, as is bringing in some other definition when it is clear the law defined the word for that purpose.

(Another example, some claim no driver license is required, based on a definition in a federal law that covers interstate trucking. In that law, by definition a “driver” (who must be licensed) is someone who is paid to drive; but that definition only applies to that law, which is all about moving cargo, so employment is relevant…state laws have other definitions of “driver.”
(See:  Do you Need a License to Drive? )

This is illustrative of how Sovereign Mythology works. How do they get here?

Do not READ  the laws and rulings one relies on,  just cut and paste and post and post and then vociferously defend this wrong ‘knowledge’ as true.

Only go to sites that promulgate the same errors and lies…

Believe what you are told and don’t check…and if they do look at real sources  misread them or misconstrue them…

Use only one of many possible definitions when analyzing a law ignoring other definitions that lead to a conclusion you don’t like, 

Grab a limited definition in one law and apply it globally; 

Just spin a lot of stuff up out of whole cloth,

The ‘received wisdom’ of one web site becomes gospel and creed.

Add in a liberal deficit of legal knowledge and principles, rules of construction, basic grammar…you have the constituent matter of a sovereign citizen theory.

Mr. Magoo’s finest work.

Federal Zone Theory

Claimed: The US government only has authority over Federal Lands and Possessions

Whatever justification they use for this, it is clear that nothing restricts the power of Congress in other matters to just the area of DC. Nor could anyone reasonably think the framers intended the Federal government to have power only over federal property and territory (“Federal Zone” theory).

The Constitution primarily gives the Federal government power over topics or areas of law, rather than territories. For example,  Congress has the power to regulate Interstate Commerce, create an Army, etc., illustrating topical areas of authority, not territorial authority.

The DC provision is one exception, as is the one allowing Congress to administer territories not yet admitted to the union as states. Under Article IV of the United States Constitution, territories are subject to and belong to the United States but not within the national boundaries of any individual state and are controlled by Congress. This includes tracts of land or water not included within the limits of any State and not admitted as a State into the Union. Further Federal Lands within the borders of a state are ‘property’ and may be controlled by Congress:

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State. Article IV Sec 3

However, nothing in Section 3 nor anywhere in the rest of the rest of the Constitution limits the power of Congress to pass laws in the fields where it has authority within the territory of the admitted States.

Update: Claimed: We’re a Delaware Corporation

It seems that some enterprising soul did incorporate a company called “The United States of America, Inc.” in Delaware in 1989. That company has been revoked and as of 1994 no longer exists… and it never was the nation or the government of the United States of America.

It was a Religious Nonprofit corporation, clearly not the US government. It’s stated purpose was “To promote and foster the development of amateur tournaments and competitions; to support athletes in training and development; education and research of amateur sports, both national and international.” Hardly explains the Army, Navy or the Congress or Supreme Court does it?
Certification United States of America Inc.

Do you think that means America is gone? Did it not exist until 1989 and ended in 1994?  Is the Capital building for sale? No. If it really meant that was the US Government, I shall charter several new companies of my own, starting with “Italy, Inc.” and going on to the “The Kingdom of Neptune and the Universe” of which I shall become King and Emperor. And the existence of those corporations will of course mean I own Italy and the Universe….

HERE is proof that it is no longer in existence: “And I [Harriet Smith Windsor, Secretary of State of Delaware] do hereby certify that the aforesaid corporation is no longer in existence and good standing in the State of Delaware having become inoperative and void the first day of March 1994 for non-payment of taxes.”

Where next?

Sovereign Citizens really really really don’t like lawyers and judges, which is why you will find so many crackpot theories about those topics. Check out the topics related to those in my other blogs.

=                                       More Blogs by Philipem 1000                                       =

Sovereign Citizens and Fellow Travelers

Sovereign Citizens and the Jurisdictional Gambit:
You Can’t Touch Me!
( Also See
Compendium of Cases )

=                                                          The Law                                                          =
Sources Of Law and Authority

Are Statutes Laws?  What About Regulations ?

Strawman Theory and CAPITAL Letters

A collection of court cases
  quoted regularly in response to sovereign citizen

ideas and challenges to the driver license laws..

Sovereign Citizens and the Jurisdictional Gambit:
You Can’t Touch Me!

Sovereigns posted a document showing
“how To Beat Any Court Case”
and offered “23 cases” that allow challenges to

jurisdiction. Unfortunately it has a maybe 19 total cases not 23…
and 18 of them are fabrications or misquotes.

=                                                  The US and the States                                                =

Do You Need a License to Drive ?

The United States Is A Corporation

(Or If You Prefer, It Can Be An Elephant )

The US Became Bankrupt in 1933 &

Federal Reserve Notes are Not Legal Currency

The United States is still a British Colony

There are Three United States

=                                                 The Courts                                                     =

A Lost 13th Amendment
Removes all Legitimacy from Courts

All US Courts hear only Admiralty Cases

US Courts are Administrative, Not Judicial

All Lawyers take a Secret Oath to Hide ‘The TRUTH

A collection of court cases
  quoted regularly in response to sovereign citizen
ideas and challenges to the driver license laws..

9 thoughts on “The United States Is A Corporation? (Or It Can Be An Elephant) …”

    1. Well I can’t tell for sure what this is, but I note two of the images posted are (e.g., what appears to be a return of service which says
      “The company against whom service is directed has been revoked in this state”.
      So what I surmise is some individual or individuals registered a corporation with that name, The United States of America Corporation” which at some point was revoked because you cannot use that name for your company. Probably was an attempt by someone to defraud others. I suppose research would point out who the principals of the ‘company’ were as registered originally.

      Now perhaps I will register “Kingdom of Neptune and the Universe” for myself and that will doubtless prove there is life on Neptune and I am it’s King.

      1. Oh and your second link there shows me it was incorporated in 1989, which is just a tad bit late…and it’s called The United States of America, Inc. on that web site and listed as a Religious Non-Profit. Wow. Who knew? Sorta creates a problem for the First Amendment wouldn’t you think? I assume they had to file a corporate charter and say who the officers are at some point, I suppose that’s in some back office mircofiche file by now. Do you think it would turn out to be a copy of the Constitution? 😉

  1. Greetings Mr. Marks, I hope all is well. I’m here because I was given a court case that contains references to a number of other cases which state that the United States is a corporation. I’d really like to know your thoughts on all of it.

    (“All corporations were originally modeled upon a state or nation”); J. Bouvier, 1 A Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America 318-319 (11th ed. 1866) (“In this extensive sense, the United States may be termed a corporation. . . . “); Van Brocklin v. Tennessee, 117 U. S. 151, 117 U. S. 154 (1886) (“The United States is a . . . great corporation . . . ordained and established by the American people. . . . ‘”) (quoting United States v. Maurice, 26 F.Cas. 1211, 1216 (No. 15,747) (CC Va.1823) (Marshall, C.J.)); Cotton v. United States, 11 How. 229, 52 U. S. 231 (1851) (United States is “a corporation”). See generally Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 4 Wheat. 518, (1819) (explaining history of term “corporation”)

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