Federalism and Constitutional Change

Federalism and Constitutional Change

Federalism and Constitutional Change

Federalism and Constitutional Change

Excerpt

This study is conceived as an attempt to view the federal system in a somewhat different light from that in which it is ordinarily displayed. That federalism is a legal concept and poses vast problems of a legal nature is not to be denied; but it has appeared to me that a better understanding of the nature of federal government can be secured by trying to picture its workings as a process in which the diversified elements that compose a federal state integrate and compromise their differences, rather than as a set of institutions and procedures whose operation is wholly determined by the legal norms and structures. That a complete examination of federalism from this point of view would require much more than a single volume is obvious; I have therefore tried to interpret it through the single medium of constitutional amendment. No one realizes more than I that this limits the validity of the exercise to a single aspect of the problem. But if the book suggests a different (and, I think, more realistic) approach to the problem and provides an example for further studies by others, it will have been of value. It is my hope that the present study may stimulate examination from a similar point of view of some of the other instrumentalities of federalism.

In the course of its preparation the volume has undergone what at times seemed an endless series of revisions, and now bears but little resemblance to the original form in which it was submitted as a doctoral thesis at Yale University. Both at New Haven and at Austin I have benefited from the counsel and assistance of several persons to whom I gladly make acknowledgement. I should like to extend my thanks in some better way than this to the following: to Hans Bronner, J. Lloyd Mecham, O. Douglas Weeks, and Willmoore Kendall for assisting me at difficult points and for reading portions of the manuscript; to the following for supplying me with needed information at the expense of much time and effort: the Legal Adviser of the State Department at Washington, the Deputy Attorney-General at Ottawa, the staffs of the Canadian Information Service, the Australian News and . . .

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