Comparative Constitutional Federalism: Europe and America

By Mark Tushnet | Go to book overview

1
The First Phases of American Federalism

JACK N. RAKOVE

One would be hard pressed to imagine a subject more open-ended than nation- building, or a concept less amenable to neat definition or resolution than federalism. Nation-building embraces virtually all of the social and political processes that make up the collective life of a people, from aspects of popular culture or language or religious belief, to the economic linkages of labor and capital markets, to the coalescence of ruling elites or voter coalitions, to the formal organization of governing structures. When the great American historian Henry Adams tried to describe something he would never have entitled "The Process of Nation-building during the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison," he found himself driven to talk about the elusive concept of "national intelligence." So, too, the concept of federalism can hardly be considered at all without exploring the complicated interplay of national, provincial, and local institutions of governance. As the most celebrated European observer of American society noted a century and a half ago, the American "federal system . . . rests upon a theory which is complicated at the best, and which demands the daily exercise of a considerable share of discretion on the part of those it governs" --and also, Alexis de Tocqueville might have added, on the part of those who, like himself, attempt to study its character and evolution. 1

To discuss problems of nation-building in a federal system, then, is not a task one takes on lightly, even when one has been safely confined to a well-defined historical period. This chapter provides a brief interpretive overview of perhaps the best-known conjunction of nation-building and federalism in modern history: the founding era of the American republic. The central purpose here will be to trace the emergence and evolution of early American ideas of federalism and to

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Comparative Constitutional Federalism: Europe and America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions In Legal Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword: Toward a National Identity in the European Economic Community vii
  • Notes x
  • Preface xi
  • 1: The First Phases of American Federalism 1
  • Notes 16
  • 2: Economic Integration and Interregional Migration in the United States Federal System 21
  • Notes 50
  • 3: Preservation of Cultural Diversity in a Federal System: The Role of the Regions 67
  • 3: Preservation of Cultural Diversity in a Federal System 67
  • Notes 75
  • 4: Putting Up and Putting Down: Tolerance Reconsidered 77
  • Notes 105
  • 5: Protecting Human Rights in a Federal System 115
  • Notes 133
  • 6: Conclusion 139
  • Notes 150
  • Bibliographical Essay 153
  • References 159
  • Index 163
  • About the Editor and Contributors 167
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