This Article describes the emergence of corporate law federalism across a long twentieth century. The period begins with New Jersey’s successful initiation of charter competition in 1888 and ends with the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. The federalism in question describes the interrelation of state and federal regulation of corporate internal affairs. This Article takes a positive approach, pursuing no normative bottom line. It makes six observations: (1) the federalism describes a division of subject matter, with internal affairs regulated by the states and securities issuance and trading regulated by the federal government; (2) the federalism is an artifact of history rather than an instantiation or reflection of a theory of government; (3) competition for charters at the state level resulted in a stable, as opposed to a volatile legal regime; (4) just as economic contractions lead to new regulatory constraints on the conduct of business, so do economic expansions lead to increased regulatory slack; (5) even though regulation on the ground never fully adhered to the subject matter division, the division became increasingly salient over time, taking on positive normative implications; and (6) federal lawmakers came to adhere to a norm of noninterference in state regulation of internal affairs.

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