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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.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"We will be recommending to the council thatwe delay our plans for federalisation until the new regulations come into being."
It is deeply unfortunate that the timing of this delay corresponds with elections, but to reject the promise of federalisation simply on the basis that neither councillors nor Assembly can be trusted not to shut schools after a period of bogus consultation is just not an option.
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.
We accept federalisation and cuts but not in a community wholly dependent on the school."
Republicans, and President George W Bush, are opposed to the federalisation of airport security and the SEIU has stated, "We think there is a much more streamlined way to make changes that would result in dramatic improvements very fast."
During the discussion phase three choices were given - area schools, clustering and federalisation, no option of staying as we were.
Robert Kilroy-Silk was a local Labour MP who fought to resist EU federalisation as did Mr Kinnock and Mr Blair -- the latter two selling their souls to the devil that is the EU.