Federalism is the mixed or compound mode of government, combining a general government with regional governments in a single political system. It can thus be defined as a form of government in there is a division of powers between two levels of government of equal status. Leading examples of the federation or federal state include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, some also today characterize the European Union as the pioneering example of federalism in a multi-state setting, in a concept termed the federal union of states. The terms federalism and confederalism both have a root in the Latin word foedus, meaning treaty, pact or covenant and their common meaning until the late eighteenth century was a simple league or inter-governmental relationship among sovereign states based upon a treaty. It was in this sense that James Madison in Federalist 39 had referred to the new United States as neither a national nor a federal Constitution, thus, this article relates to the modern usage of the word federalism. Modern federalism is a based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments. The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world depending on context, however, in some countries, those skeptical of federal prescriptions believe that increased regional autonomy is likely to lead to secession or dissolution of the nation. In Syria, federalization proposals have failed in part because Syrians fear that these borders could turn out to be the same as the ones that the parties have currently carved out. Federations such as Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia collapsed as soon as it was possible to put the model to the test, cultural-historical theories, which hold that federal institutions are more likely to be adopted in societies with culturally or ethnically fragmented populations. Infrastructural power theories, which hold that federalism is likely to emerge when the subunits of a potential federation already have highly developed infrastructures. In Europe, Federalist is sometimes used to describe those who favor a federal government. Most European federalists want this development to continue within the European Union, European federalism originated in post-war Europe, one of the more important initiatives was Winston Churchills speech in Zürich in 1946. In the United States, federalism originally referred to belief in a central government. Constitution was being drafted, the Federalist Party supported a central government. This is very different from the usage of federalism in Europe. The distinction stems from the fact that federalism is situated in the middle of the spectrum between a confederacy and a unitary state. Constitution was written as a reaction to the Articles of Confederation, in contrast, Europe has a greater history of unitary states than North America, thus European federalism argues for a weaker central government, relative to a unitary state. The modern American usage of the word is closer to the European sense
Satiric depiction of late 19th century political tensions in Spain
The pathway of regional integration or separation
In Canada, the provincial governments derive all their powers directly from the constitution. In contrast, the territories are subordinate to the federal government and are delegated powers by it.