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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.

Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

See Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions

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Historical Events


The Constitutional Convention elaborated what some of its participants already called “federation” in place of “confederation”; subsequently the new system came to be known…

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Historical Events

Albany Plan

The Albany Congress was held in 1754 to bring the colonies together to coordinate with one another and with Britain and Indian allies in…

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Historical Figures

Franklin, Benjamin

Benjamin Franklin was the most original and versatile of the founders in his Federalist ideas. Impressed by the nearby Iroquois Confederation and by the…

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Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933

The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) represented the first significant effort by the federal government to directly improve the earnings of American farmers. Enacted on…

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Supreme Court Cases

United States v. Butler (1936)

United States v. Butler (1936) involved a challenge to the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, a major New Deal program that attempted to stabilize…

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Models and Theories of Federalism

New Deal

America experienced severe social, political, and economic turmoil in the three years after the onset of the Great Depression (1929). Immediate pressures for economic…

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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wyoming (1983)

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wyoming (1983), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and…

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Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA–P.L. 90-202) was enacted in 1967 to protect workers against discrimination based exclusively on their age. Age…

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Policy Areas

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is like other forms of discrimination (e.g., race, gender, and class) that lead to differential treatment of individuals. Age bias is based…

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Social Security Act of 1935

The Social Security Act of 1935 was actually titled the Economic Security Act but rather quickly came to take on the name of its…

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481 Results

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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.

Are the materials on the Center for the Study of Federalism website copyright-protected?

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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Click here to sign-up to receive notifications about CSF materials and events. We will not share your email with any outside organizations or individuals.

Who do I contact for questions or comments about your programs and the information provided on this website?

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.