allegiance

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allegiance,

in political terms, the tie that binds an individual to another individual or institution. The term usually refers to a person's legal obligation of obedience to a government in return for the protection of that government, although it may have reference to any institution that one is bound to support. In the United States allegiance is required of both citizenscitizen,
member of a state, native or naturalized, who owes allegiance to the government of the state and is entitled to certain rights. Citizens may be said to enjoy the most privileged form of nationality; they are at the furthest extreme from nonnational residents of a state
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 and resident aliens. In ordinary speech, the term may include supplemental emotional ties that make it loosely synonymous with loyalty.

Individuals develop allegiances to social groups, such as family, school, club, and religion, through processes of socialization; recent scholars have examined the connection of these more intimate processes to the maintenance or shift of political allegiances. Political scientists distinguish between natural allegiance, which arises from membership by birth within a political society; express allegiance, which arises from an oath or promise to support a political society, usually resulting from naturalizationnaturalization,
official act by which a person is made a national of a country other than his or her native one. In some countries naturalized persons do not necessarily become citizens but may merely acquire a new nationality.
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; local allegiance, in which an alien pledges temporary allegiance to a government for the protection it offers; and legal allegiance, which arises in certain cases from an oath taken to support a government temporarily, as when a foreign soldier joins its armed forces.

Under European laws a people did not have the right to change allegiance without consent of their governments. In 1868 the United States declared that it was the right of any citizen to voluntarily transfer allegiance to another government. Great Britain provided the same opportunity for its subjects in 1870, and thereafter other European states followed similar policies. The process of expatriationexpatriation,
loss of nationality. Such loss is usually, although not necessarily, voluntary. Generally it applies to those persons who have renounced nationality and citizenship in one country to become citizens or subjects of another. According to U.S.
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, however, is by no means universal.

See also Pledge of AllegiancePledge of Allegiance,
in full, Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, oath that proclaims loyalty to the United States. and its national symbol.
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.

allegiance

(in feudal society) the obligations of a vassal to his liege lord
References in classic literature ?
Then, in the name and by the authority of the good people of the colonies, they pronounced the dissolution of their allegiance to the king, and their eternal separation from the nation of Great Britain--and declared the United Colonies independent States.
Quite consistent with this commonsense spirit, as the facts were then interpreted, was the allegiance which Restoration writers rendered to the literature of classical antiquity, an allegiance which has gained for this period and the following half-century, where the same attitude was still more strongly emphasized, the name 'pseudo-classical.
I have heard some of my townsmen say, "I should like to have them order me out to help put down an insurrection of the slaves, or to march to Mexico--see if I would go"; and yet these very men have each, directly by their allegiance, and so indirectly, at least, by their money, furnished a substitute.
When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished.
For two years our ancestors were kept in sullen submission by that filial love which had invariably secured their allegiance to the mother country, whether its head chanced to be a Parliament, Protector, or Popish Monarch.
I myself am a savage; owning no allegiance but to the King of the Cannibals; and ready at any moment to rebel against him.