9 J.L. & Pol. 333 (1992-1993)
From Cooperation to Coercion in American Federalism: Housing, Fragmentation and Preemption, 1780-1992

handle is hein.journals/jlp9 and id is 343 raw text is: From Cooperation to Coercion in American
Federalism: Housing, Fragmentation and
Preemption, 1780-1992
John Kincaid'
This essay interprets American federalism against the backdrop
of federal housing-related policies. The argument is that the
growth of federal power has entailed a reorientation of federal
policy making from places to persons: that is, from state and local
governments to individual citizens, thus fulfilling Alexander
Hamilton's admonition that we must extend the authority of the
Union to the persons of the citizens-the only proper objects of
Federal policies for places tend to produce cooperative
federalism because the federal government tries to serve or
accommodate state and local governments, which, like traditional
states, are seen as the primary governments for persons. Federal
policies for persons either tend to bypass intergovernmental
channels or to produce coercive federalism because the federal
government alters or preempts the exercise of state and local
powers in order to benefit persons directly, much like a unitary
Historically, as federal policy turned to persons, constituencies
developed appetites for federal benefits. Federal officials adroitly
cultivated constituencies by drawing on three comparatively
painless revenue sources largely out of the reach of state
governments: the western land-base (plus tariffs), the income tax
base and deficit spending. The use of these resources is linked to
three broad phases of American federalism, phases reflecting
resolutions of tensions inherent in a constitution that is neither
wholly national nor wholly confederal.2         The first was a
This continues the discussion of housing policy and American federalism contained in
the Volume VIII, Number 4 (Summer 1992) issue of the Journal of Law & Politics.
Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations,
Washington, D.C., and Associate Professor of Political Science, University of North Texas
(on leave).
I The Federalist No. 15, at 109 (Alexander Hamilton) (Clinton Rossiter ed., 1961).
2 The Federalist No. 45, at 246 (James Madison) (Clinton Rossiter ed., 1961).

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