Conferences between the prime minister and provincial premiers became more frequent, a phenomenon described as "executive federalism." Provincial governments began to intervene more aggressively in provincial economies and also challenged the right of the central government to make economic policy without their collaboration or consent.


The Articles of Confederation of 1781 among the 13 American statesfighting British rule had established a center too weak for lawenforcement, defense and for securing interstate commerce. What hasbecome known as the U.S. Constitutional Convention met May25–September 17, 1787. It was explicitly restricted to revise theArticles, but ended up recommending more fundamental changes. Theproposed constitution prompted widespread debate and argumentsaddressing the benefits and risks of federalism versus confederalarrangements, leading eventually to the Constitution that took effectin 1789.


Stevenson, Garth. "Federalism". . Toronto: Historica Canada, 2006. Web. 8 Feb 2006.

Many federal political orders accommodate minority groups in twoways discussed above: both through a division of power, and bygranting them influence over common decisions. These measuresof can be valuable ways to give public acknowledgmentand recognition to groups and their members, sometimes on the verybasis of previous domination. But identity politics also createchallenges (Gutman 1994), especially in federal arrangements that facegreater risks of instability and must maintain citizens' dualpolitical loyalties. Self-government arrangements may threaten thefederal political order: “demands for self-government reflect adesire to weaken the bonds with the larger community and, indeed,question its very nature, authority and permanence” (Kymlickaand Norman 1994, 375). The emphasis on “recognition andinstitutionalization of difference could undermine the conditions thatmake a sense of common identification and thus mutualitypossible” (Carens 2000, 193).

(2010-09-20) - ISBN-13: 978-613-3-07367-8

Macdonald’s view that the provincial governments should be subordinate to the central government was controversial from the outset, and in the early 1880s a Québec judge, , wrote that the central government had been created by the provincial governments and that no increase in the central government's powers, and indeed no substantial change in the Constitution, was permissible without the unanimous consent of the provincial governments. This view became known as the Compact Theory of Confederation and was expressed at the interprovincial conference of 1887, organized by Québec Prime Minister .

(2010-08-16) - ISBN-13: 978-613-1-28003-0

In line with this historical evolution of Nigerian federalism, it should be noted that, the choice of federalism as the preferred system of government for Nigeria was not accidental. Given the heterogeneity of Nigerian polity, the founding fathers of Nigeria adopted the federal system as the most viable option of protecting the core interest of the federating units. This was demonstrated in the federal constitution, especially in the 1963 federal republican constitution, that clearly defined the jurisdictions of the federating units. For example, each of the federating units had its own constitution, one of the key properties of federalism. It should be noted that, before the attainment of independence by Nigeria in 1960, the federating units – Eastern Nigeria, Northern Nigeria and Western Nigeria – were, in all intents and purposes independent entities. That the three federating units attained their independent in 1957 (Eastern and Western Nigeria) and 1959 (Northern Nigeria) further buttressed their respective sovereignty. If they had wanted, there was nothing preventing any of them to go their separate ways as independent states in the international community in 1957 and 1959 respectively. Thus, when some contemporary analysts of Nigerian politics blame the British amalgamation of 1914 as the source of Nigeria problems, they should be reminded of the lost opportunity exhibited by Nigerian leaders to disengage from the forced amalgamation when they had the choice in 1957. Like Nigeria, the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was also a creation of British rule. It is significant to note that, unlike Nigeria, the constituent units of Rhodesia and Nyasaland elected to go their separate ways by becoming the independent state of Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi respectively.

(2010-11-01) - ISBN-13: 978-613-2-74778-5

Several of the early contributors to federalist thought explored therationale and weaknesses of centralised states as they emerged anddeveloped in the 17th and 18th century. Johannes Althusius(1557–1630) is often regarded as the father of modern federalistthought. He argued in Politica Methodice Digesta (Althusius1603) for autonomy of his city Emden, both against its Lutheranprovincial Lord and against the Catholic Emperor. Althusius wasstrongly influenced by French Huguenots and Calvinism. As a permanentminority in several states, Calvinists developed a doctrine ofresistance as the right and duty of “natural leaders” toresist tyranny. Orthodox Calvinists insisted on sovereignty in thesocial circles subordinate only to God's laws. The French ProtestantHuguenots developed a theory of legitimacy further, presented 1579 byan author with the telling pseudonym “Junius Brutus”in Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos. The people, regarded as acorporate body in territorial hierarchical communities, has aGod-granted right to resist rulers without rightful claim. Rejectingtheocracy, Althusius developed a non-sectarian, non-religiouscontractualist political theory of federations that prohibited stateintervention even for purposes of promoting the rightfaith. Accommodation of dissent and diversity prevailed over anyinterest in subordinating political powers to religion or viceversa.