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Relating to the general government or union of the states; based upon, or created pursuant to, the laws of the Constitution of the United States.

The United States has traditionally been named a federal government in most political and judicial writings. The term federal has not been prescribed by any definite authority but is used to express a broad opinion concerning the nature of the form of government.

A recent tendency has been to use the term national in place of federal to denote the government of the Union. Neither settles any question regarding the nature of authority of the government.

The term federal is generally considered to be more appropriate if the government is to be viewed as a union of the states. National is used to reflect the view that individual state governments and the Union as a whole are two distinct and separate systems, each of which is established directly by the population for local and national purposes, respectively.

In a more general sense, federal is ordinarily used to refer to a league or compact between two or more states to become joined under one central government.


adjective allied, associated, banded, central, combined, confederate, federate, federative, foederatus, foedere sociatus, governmental, joined in a union, joint, leagued, merged, national, united
Associated concepts: federal aid, federal common law, feddral Constitution, federal courts, federal government, federal jurisdiction, federal law, federal offense, federal question, federal regulation, federal rights
See also: collective, mutual, national, public
References in periodicals archive ?
With the federalisation and clustering of schools into one large community school, you find they become more anglicised.
But parents last night said they were worried a delay on federalisation - meant to start in September 2009 - could affect their children's education.
And this newspaper, which has always recommended federalisation as a solution to closure, must naturally applaud it too.
SIR - Your editorial concerning the expanded federalisation of higher education in Wales under a single institutional banner, the University of Wales, slipped into the error that has bedevilled Cardiff and so easily misled the National Assembly's Education and Lifelong Learning Committee.
There has been an ongoing battle between the Senate, whose members voted to federalise airport screeners in a bill passed recently, and House Republican leaders, who are opposed to federalisation but want private security companies to operate under government-set standards for pay and hiring.
The rebels complained Yemen would be divided into rich and poor regions under a federalisation plan agreed in February following national talks as part of a political transition.
Last week it emerged the review process will be extended and potentially give a temporary reprieve to some of the schools earmarked for closure and federalisation.