However, the conclusion is unclear regarding the individual states' responsibilities to each other. The Declaration describes itself as a union of colonies, each of which is a free and independent state. This is problematic because the statement indicates that the colonies are one united whole, while simultaneously stating that each state is free and independent. A few sentences later, the Declaration states that the former colonies, " as free and independent states, ... have full power to levy war," thereby indicating that each state, individually, has the right to levy war, make peace, etc. This inconsistency would later turn into a debate about the nature of the government of the United States. Was the United States a loose confederation of independent states, each of which could act on behalf of its own interest? Or, was the United States a strong centralized nation in which the powers of the whole were stronger than the powers of each individual state? The Declaration states that the colonists have pledged mutual allegiance, but does that mean the pledge will continue beyond the war effort?
Many modern English speakers use beg the question to mean "bear the question", "suggest the question," "raise the question", "invite the question", "evade the question", or even "ignore the question", and follow that phrase with the question, for example: "I weigh 120 kg and have severely clogged arteries, which begs the question: why have I not started exercising?" In philosophical, logical, grammatical , and legal contexts, some commenters believe that such usage is mistaken, or at best, unclear.