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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 ?
While in the US dramatic recovery from the 1930s depression was accelerated by Franklin Roosevelt's inter-state legislation, which helped to integrate and federalise the economy, the most chronic cases in today's economic turbulence are not those tainted by any notions of federalism.
He expressed strong belief that the choice has no effect on any decision to federalise Iraq.
I suppose the last straw for me was the council's proposals to federalise Tanygrisiau School with Trawsfynydd, Gellilydan and Llan schools as well as closing Manod and Maenofferen schools.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith organiser Osian Jones said: "Many parents, teachers and school governors have been angered by plans by the local authority to close 29 schools, build eight new area schools and merge, or federalise, many more.
The group was opposed to plans to close 29 schools and federalise 55 others.
The council, which plans to close 29 schools, federalise 55 and create eight new area schools, claims Borth y Gest must close because the building has fallen into disrepair.
In 1999, the authority decided to proceed and federalise both schools despite parents' opposition.
The new company reflects devolution and the desire of the MLC to federalise after a disastrous year when 26 people were made redundant in the wake of foot-and-mouth.