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Students of federalism in the United States and elsewhere have long been fascinated by the relationships between lower and higher levels of government. State municipal leagues are one important, yet understudied, means by which cities interact with states in the United States. I examine the history of these municipal leagues, arguing that the timing of their formation in U.S. states was in part dependent on state restrictions on special legislation and in part due to the efforts of nationwide networks of policy entrepreneurs. Drawing on scholarly literatures on collective action and associational networks, I develop and test an account of how state municipal leagues formed and how they spread.