De facto vs. de jure government

Sovereign citizens often use the term "de facto government" to refer to the U.S. government. They believe a conspiracy began in the 1860s to infiltrate the original "de jure" government, subvert its laws and replace them with tyrannical laws, creating a new, illegitimate "de facto" government designed to enslave the people. Sovereign citizens believe that by declaring their "sovereignty," they can return to the pre-conspiracy government, after which the "de facto" government will have no authority or jurisdiction over them. This belief is the basis for many sovereigns' decisions to ignore laws, rules, regulations, and taxes.

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