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The federal system refers to a system of government in which power is distributed between a central authority and constituent territorial units (states).[1]

In the United States, the term "federal" refers to the national government based in Washington, D.C. The Federal government's responsibility is to govern the entire country, unlike the state and local levels of government, which have jurisdiction over only one state or locality (e.g., a city or county), respectively.

See also[edit]


  1. Merriam-Webster Online, Federal