The Trend Toward Federal Centralization

Published date01 May 1924
Date01 May 1924
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/000271622411300123
Subject MatterArticles
172
THE
ANNALS
OF
THE
AMERICAN
ACADEMY
tivities,
and
at
periodic
intervals
to
re-examine
the
functions
they
have
assumed,
in
order
to
discover
what
they
can
satisfactorily
do,
and
what
func-
tions
may
more
properly
be
left
to
other
agencies.
If
we
continue
to
in-
crease
state
governmental
functions
in
as
rapid
and
as
haphazard
a
manner
as
we
have
done
during
the
past
fifty
years,
the
problems
of
effective
ad-
ministration
will
be
enormously
in-
creased ;
and
the
proper
solution
of
these
problems
will
be
increasingly
postponed.
The
Trend
Toward
Federal
Centralization
BY
WALTER
THOMPSON,
PH.D.
Author
of
Federal
Centralization
This
government
is
acknowledged
by
all
to
be
one
of
enumerated
powers.
The
principle
that
it
can
exercise
only
the
powers
granted
to
it
would
seem
too
apparent
to
have
required
to
be
enforced
by
all
those
arguments
which
its
enlightened
friends,
while
it
was
depending
before
the
people,
found
it
necessary
to
urge.
That
principle
is
now
universally
admitted.
But
the
question
respecting
the
extent
of
the
powers
actually
granted
is
perpetually
arising,
and
will
probably
continue
to
arise,
as
long
as
our
system
shall
exist.
1
THE
above
statement
was
made
by
Chief
Justice
Marshall
in
the
famous
case
of
McCulloch
v.
Maryland
in
1819.
Subsequent
litigation
has
proved
it
to
be
prophetic.
Questions
respecting
the
extent
of
federal
author-
ity
have
arisen
repeatedly.
The
states
have
constantly
increased
the
scope
of
their
activities,
and
the
Fed-
eral
Government,
whose
scope
was
contemplated
by
some
of
its
founders
as
embracing
those
activities
exercised
by
a
department
of
foreign
affairs,
has
reached
out
and
has
become
an
influ-
ential
factor
in
the
life
of
the
man
in
the
street.
The
increase
in
govern-
mental
functions,
both
state
and
fed-
eral,
has
necessarily
given
rise
to
the
question
of
conflicting
jurisdictions.
Hence
the
litigation
foreseen
by
John
Marshall.
I
began
a
recent
book
2 with the
statement,
Government
in
the
United
States
has
been,
and,
so
long
as
our
constitutional
system
is
retained,
will
probably
continue
to
be
an
experiment
in
federalism.
This
is
true,
not
only
in
the
United
States,
but
in
every
country
where
the
federal
system
prevails.
By
its
very
nature,
federalism
requires
constant
readjustment
of
powers
and
functions
between
the
central
government
on
the
one
hand
and
the
federated units
on
the
other.
In
fact,
the
problem
is
so
intriguing
that
not
a
few
scholars
and
publicists
have
argued
that
federal
systems
are
but
transitory
types
and
that
either
the
component
parts
will
assume
more
power,
which
will
lead
to
a
disruption
of
the
union,
or
that
author-
ity
will
gravitate
toward
the
central
government,
which
will
develop
into
a
centralized
form
of
government
which
is
federal
in
name
only.
Obviously,
it
is
impossible
to
determine
finally
and
exactly
the
sphere
of
activities
respec-
tively
of
the
central
government
and
the
federated
units.
Federalism,
like
any
form
of
government,
is
never
static.
It
is
a
process.
In
the
United
1
316,
at
405,
1819.
2
Federal
Centralization,
Harcourt,
Brace
&
Company,
New
York,
1923.

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