MORE THAN one hundred years ago, De Tocqueville was "struck by the good sense and practical judgment of the Americans . . . in the ingenious devices by which they elude the numberless difficulties resulting from their federal constitution."1 With the passage of the years, the encrustation of judicial glosses on that constitution and the inevitable conflict between a growing concentration of economic power and a constant development of the sphere of governmental action have served to increase the difficulties. But the devices themselves have also increased in number and importance. It is the aim of this book to explore some of them and to see how they have worked in dealing with certain economic and social problems.
Numerous troubles are inherent in any such attempt. In the first place, the emotionalism which has long infused discussions of federal-state relations in the United States immediately subjects to suspicion anyone who undertakes their study. The person who does so is automatically considered a partisan either of the expansion of federal powers and activities or of their contraction in behalf of action by the states. This volume is intended to favor neither "federal centralization" nor "states" rights"; it aims, rather, to indicate and describe some of the ways in which the federal and state governments have cooperated and how effective their joint activity has been. The chief bias of the book, insofar as the author can discover it, is that the federal and state governments are not separate and rival agencies but that they both are necessary to handle the manifold problems of government today. The power and importance of the states have not declined to the vanishing point in the face of the growth of the federal government and the government of the cities. In the course of the years the present functions of the states may be modified, but the principle of federalism in the United States cannot well be allowed to die. The author does not share the fears of those who dread either____________________