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  1. The Meaning of Federalism
  2. The Legislative Lists
  3. Characteristics of Federalism
  4. The Relationship among the Federal, State and Local Government in a Federalism


The Meaning of Federalism

The term federalism refers to the system of government in which there is constitutional division of powers among the different levels or three tiers of government namely: federal, state and local government.

In a federal system, the federal or central government represents the whole nation and acts on behalf of all in certain matters, such as defence, external affairs, currency, national revenue etc., and also other areas considered to be of common interest. There are also state and local governments with powers to legislate and administer within its constitutional limits.

The federal, state and local government are called the tiers of government. The constitution stipulates the specific functions and matters over which each tier has power and authority to handle.

It is worthy to note that in a federal system, the central government is supreme to the component units with respect to matters of common importance to the whole federal state.

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