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Federalism in America: An Encyclopedia

This encyclopedia provides a comprehensive reference explaining the major concepts, institutions, court cases, epochs, personalities, and policies that have shaped, or been shaped by, American federalism. It describes federalism’s creation and evolution, and its influence on local, state, and national governmental institutions, procedures, and policies. The models used to explain the various historical eras in the development of federalism are also included. Originally published by Greenwood Press in 2005, this encyclopedia contained over 400 entries relating to American federalism. In its current online form, entries are being added and old ones updated. See more…

View looking up at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Historical Events

Webster-Hayne Debate

The January 1830 exchanges between Senators Robert Y. Hayne of South Carolina and Daniel Webster of Massachusetts were part of a larger discussion over…

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Timbs v. Indiana (2019)

In Timbs v. Indiana (2019), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause applies not only to the federal government…

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Federalism Scholars

Wheare, Kenneth Clinton

K. C. Wheare (March 26, 1907--September 7, 1979) can be regarded as the “dean” of modern comparative federalism research. His 1946 book, Federal Government,…

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Taft-Hartley Act

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 amended much of the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of 1935, the federal law regulating labor relations in interstate…

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Stream of Commerce

With respect to the Commerce Clause, the “stream of commerce” concept appeared in a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Stafford v. Wallace, which continued…

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Historical Figures

Wallace, George C.

A four-time governor of Alabama and four-time presidential candidate, George C. Wallace (1919–98) represented segregationist views during the 1950's and 1960's regarding federal intervention…

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Civil Rights Act of 1965

There is currently no text in this page. You can search for this page title in other pages, or search the related logs, but you do not…

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State Mandates

A state mandate is any action by a state legislature or governor that requires another branch or lower level of government to use its…

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Spending Power

Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution entrusts Congress with the spending power. It reads, “The Congress shall have Power . . .…

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Supreme Court Cases

Southern Railway Company v. Reid (1912)

Southern Railway Company v. Reid (1912) is an early preemption case in which the Supreme Court invalidated a North Carolina statute requiring common carriers…

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South Carolina v. Baker (1988)

Under construction.

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Shreveport Rate Case

The Shreveport Rate Case (1914)—officially known as Houston, East and West Texas Railway v. United States—permitted the Interstate Commerce Commission to control intrastate railway…

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Center for the Study of Federalism (CSF)?

The Center for the Study of Federalism (CSF) is a nonpartisan, interdisciplinary research and education institution dedicated to supporting and advancing scholarship and public understanding of federal theories, principles, institutions, and processes as practical means of organizing power in free societies.

Who are the Fellows at the Center for the Study of Federalism?

All of the CSF Fellows hold advanced degrees, are affiliated with academic institutions, and are scholarly experts in their fields. For more on each Fellow see CSF Fellows.

What is the purpose of the CSF website?

Most political and public issues in the United States are influenced to some extent by its federal system. Yet many do not understand that system. The CSF website seeks to foster a better understanding among the general public and scholars of federal governing systems generally and, specifically, of the federal system of government in the United States of America.

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The CSF materials are free to use for educational purposes. If published, please acknowledge CSF as the source. If you intend to use these materials for profit, please, contact the Center for the Study of Federalism for permission. Some materials on the website are not owned by CSF and permission to use those materials should be sought with those holding legal title to the material.

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Please direct all questions and comments related to this website, and inquiries about the research and teaching grants and awards, to us here. Remember CSF is a nonpartisan, interdisciplinary research and education institution.