Федеративные идеи в российской науке конституционного права во второй половине XIX века
Problems of a federative form of state acquired relevance in the Russian constitutional law studies in the 2nd half of the 19th century. In general, the federation was interpreted as a union of states (quasistates), in which its units were subject to the power of the federal government in certain areas (within the limits outlined by the federal constitution), while maintaining the autonomy in other areas. Thus, the origin of the federative state was seen as a process of strengthening the centripetal power in confederation, but not as a decentralization of a unitary state. At the turn of 19-20th centuries, the main problems of legal theory of federation became such issues as sharing sovereignty and legal status of the constituent units under the influence of German lawyers (especially G. Jellinek). At the same time, B. Chicherin and A. Gradovsky, who are outstanding Russian legal scholars of the 2nd half of the 19th century, did not consider the question of the legal status of the component units of the federation as a pivotal issue for federative theory. They considered federalism as a guarantee of the decentralization of public authority (A. Gradovsky) or fragmentation and distribution of government’s power in various political bodies (B. Chicherin). However, the decentralization conception of federative ideas contained in works of Gradovsky and Chicherin was relegated to the background of Russian constitutional law studies by union conception of the federative state with its problems of sovereignty and the legal status of the constituent units of the federation.