Topics: United States Constitution, U.S. state, Federal government of the United States Pages: 7 (1399 words) Published: May 29, 2014

American Federalism

Ms. Jackie M. Rivers

Professor Leah Raby
POL 110
May 16, 2014

This paper will example what is federalism and how it as evolved into our political systems today. I will also talk about how the concept of federalism shaping American political behavior and the relationship between the states and federal government which as influences American policies overall. Federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/state governments, creating what is often called a federation. The term federalism allows states united under a central government to maintain a measure of independence and by which two or more governments share power over the same geographic area. GLUCK, A. R. (2014). In the United States, federalism political systems government as supreme authority but the Constitution grants certain powers to state government. The United States, Germany, Canada, and Switzerland are a few example of this system. In the Unites States, the constitution grants certain powers to both the United States government and the state governments. An example is Under the 10th Amendment, powers not specifically listed in the Constitution, like requiring drivers’ licenses and collecting property taxes, are among the many powers "reserved" to the states. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” – Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Federalism has evolved over the course of American history. At different points in time, the balance and boundaries between the national and state government have changed substantially. The first 75 years of the American republic the Constitution outlined the two types of governments national and state. Offend call the “layer cake”, GLUCK, A. R. (2014). The states and national government each had their own distinct areas of responsibility and the different levels rarely overlapped. By mid-1800’s federalism was a part of the disputes that led to the Civil War 1861-1865). Many Southerners felt that state governments alone had the right to make important decisions, such as whether slavery should be legal. Advocates of states’ rights believed that the individual state governments had power over the federal government because the states had ratified the Constitution to create the federal government in the first place. Slavery ended in the United States six months after the civil war with the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865. www.earlyamerica.com. The union victory solidified the federal government’s power over the states and ended the debates over states’ rights. The fourteenth Amendment was ratifies a few years after the civil war included key clauses which limit state power and protect the basic rights of citizens. The nature of government and politics in the United States changed dramatically in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The national government assumed a larger role as a result of Industrialization and Globalization. The government began to take a stronger regulatory role in the early twentieth century around industrialization. The federal government was much better equipped than the states to deal with this change. The United States emerged as a global economic power in globalization: Because of its vast economy and its extensive trading networks. The federal government assumed a greater economic role as American businesses and states began trading abroad heavily. The Great Depression, brought about by the crash of the stock market in 1929, was one of the most severe economic downturns in American. In response President Roosevelt implemented a series of programs and policies to prevent further depression. Kelly, N. J., & Witko, C. (2012).The national government had to...

References: GLUCK, A. R. (2014). Our [National] Federalism. Yale Law Journal, 123(6), 1996-2043
Kelly, N. J., & Witko, C. (2012). Federalism and American Inequality. Journal Of Politics
74(2), 414-426.
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