Home rule is government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens. It is thus the power of a constituent part (administrative division) of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been decentralized to it by the central government. In the British Isles, it traditionally referred to self-government, devolution or independence of its constituent nations—initially Ireland, and later Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In the United States and other countries organised as federations of states, the term usually refers to the process and mechanisms of self-government as exercised by municipalities, counties, or other units of local government at the level below that of a federal state (e.g., US state, in which context see special legislation). It can also refer to the similar system under which Greenland and the Faroe Islands are associated with Denmark. Home rule is not, however, equivalent to federalism. Whereas states in a federal system of government (e.g., Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Ethiopia and the United States) have a guaranteed constitutional existence, a devolved home rule system of government is created by ordinary legislation and can be reformed, or even abolished, by repeal or amendment of that ordinary legislation.