'A Commonwealth of Commonwealths': Late Nineteenth-Century Conceptions of Federalism and Their Impact on Australian Federation, 1890-1901
The Journal of Legal History, Vol. 23, No. 3, p. 253, 2002
38 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2008 Last revised: 24 Dec 2008
Date Written: December 16, 2008
This article utilizes the Australian experience of federation, 1890-1901, as a vehicle for the discussion of the leading conceptions of federalism extant in the late nineteenth-century English-speaking world. In particular, the article examines the federal theories of James Madison, James Bryce, Edward Freeman, Albert Dicey and John Burgess in the context of many others, and seeks to show that the idea of a 'Commonwealth of commonwealths', although controverted by contending theories, remained a central theme in late nineteenth-century conceptions of federalism.
Keywords: federalism, James Bryce, Edward Freeman, Albert Dicey, John Burgess
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