Federalism in United States Essay
Federalism was a constitutional topic in the United State that raised many arguments. Federalism is therefore defined as a coordination of the regime in which control and the influence of power is partitioned with an attempt to distribute it in the central government and the constituent supporting units.
This is therefore brought about by constitution when the territorial government wishes to establish centralized laws as the representation of the national legislature. In the United State, Federalism was a Constitutional topic even though it was not mentioned plainly in its Constitution but it was highly represented. This discussion therefore, focuses on the Federalism in the United State.
To start with, there were Federalists and Anti-Federalists who had different argument concerning the U.S Constitution. The Federalists argued that division of powers was a way to protect the rights of the populace in that each division represented people’s aspects thus no division could assume a higher control. They also argued that it was difficult to list rights which would promote violation of the listed rights.
On the other hand the Anti-Federalist argued that the Constitution would cause excessive power held by the national regime at state government expense. They viewed that there would be excess powers left in the hand of the executive branch. Among all these issues, the Anti-Federalist focused much on the necessity of the bill of rights thus campaigning against the constitutional ratification.
There are however some parts of James Madison’s argument in the Federalist No. 10 that I do agree with them. I agree that the best way to work out the crisis of faction is by “controlling its effects” as opposed to “removing its clauses” (Madison par 2).
This is because with the enormous diversity of parties and welfare in complete state, there is reduced likelihood that the populace would have a common intention to assault the rights of the entire nationalities thus frustrating any attempt individual factional concerns. At the same time I agree with George Mason’s augment in his objection to the Constitution that the bill of right is very significant. This would promote the sense of security to the people as they enjoy the gains of the common ruling of the law.
I however consider the bill of right to be the most important part of the constitution. It protects a batch of other essential freedoms. It promotes the human dignity for instance one is protected from the over ruling like being sentenced for a life imprisonment for just taking someone’s 20 pounds. These rights protect one from mob justice until when judged in court thus the society is not allowed to take law into its hands and further promotion of justice.
In the constitution I would change the way people vote by allowing two election choices instead of one vote clause. This would promote political change as in cases where voters like one candidate, but only cast their ballots to the most popular candidate just as a means of throwing away of votes.
In conclusion, both the Anti-Federalist and the Federalist held rights of expressing themselves on their different opinions. No body can imagine the state which the United State could be without the bill of rights. Federalism is however important in that it outlines on the ideas of how regimes should be formed. At the same time the nation and the federal regime draws the control from the public on constitutional format which describe the powers and accountability that the public have entrusted to their regimes.
Bowles, Nigel. The government and politics of the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993.
Madison, James. The Federalist No. 10 The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued). November 22, 1787. http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm .
- Bowles, Nigel. The government and politics of the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993. Pp 268.
- Madison, James. The Federalist No. 10 The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection (continued). November 22, 1787. Par 2.
- Bowles, Nigel. The government and politics of the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993.
Federalism Evolving Essay
The American constitution does not capture the term federalism despite the fact that governance method has been in existence for many years. George Washington was not of the view that federalism would totally take a place in America.
It did not occur to him that national governance would prove difficult at some point in time. The characteristic wide geographical area, expanded infrastructural network and social amenities were some of the factors that steered America towards federalism (Smith 2).
It was difficult to offer comprehensive and balanced national governance to all regions within America especially in the 18th century. The federalism was thereafter born and it enjoys its existence until today. Several interventions have seen America move towards complete federalism (Helfman 108). Close ties among state governments have been instrumental in the working together of state governments. Cooperative federalism is now in place.
It emphasizes on shared policy formulation between the respective governments. The essay discusses how federalism has evolved since James Madison wrote The Federalist, 51 and the effects of Federalism on American politics. It also explains my opinion on whether I would construct a federalist or unified system if I were to design a constitution for a foreign government.
Articles of Confederation in 1770 may be regarded as the genesis of federalism. They laid down policies on the operation of federal government. However, the work of James Madison and others in the Federalist Papers contributed significantly to the genesis of federalism in the US.
Madison alone wrote over 20 articles on the subject and helped in the development and ratification of the US constitution and the 39th article as well as Federalist 51 is regarded as the most indicative of the concept of Federalism and the reasons for the need to have checks and balances of any government respectively. In the Federalist 51, Madison suggests that there is no greater reflection on human nature than that of having a government.
The long journey towards federalism is still transforming itself to accommodate various needs (Hamilton, Madison and Jay 45). Political power sharing and power of governance are the centers of interest within this form of government. The concept of federalism has been changing over the years. The various evolution changes are discussed next.
The Articles of Confederation did not receive total support from the citizens. It was viewed as a tool for limiting the strengths of the federal government (Bailyn 13). Some citizens supported the recommendations of introducing federalism. It was the government’s failure to control the economy that sparked a rebellion from citizens in Massachusetts. The federal government could not handle the protests.
The bicameral legislature was adopted and enforced in 1887 and the formation of the US constitution given a thought in Philadelphia. Those opposed to the new constitution represented those who were also opposed to federalism. 1791 saw the passing of 10 articles drafted by Madison. The Bill of Rights was the product of these articles. The tenth Amendment held answers to the element of federalism. The conflicts that existed between proponents and opposes of federalism began to subdue with time (Martinez and Richardson 314).
The powers of the Federal government were increased once the sixteenth and seventeenth schedules were adopted. Dual Federalism lasted for a century. The demarcation of power was later characterized by the introduction of the local governments that functioned on different grounds from the state governments (Martinez and Richardson 325). The local governments were assigned duties that improved the quality of life.
Social amenities provision was left to the local governments. The federal government was assigned roles that included National Defense, Foreign policy and Currency Patents (Smith 13). It was upon the state government to ensure that Civil Service laws, family law, labor law and property law were enforced. Cases that were within each docket were handled by the respective governments.
The Great Depression experienced in US made things change in favor of the federal government. The federal government once again enjoyed a skewed amount of power.
The deterioration of the economy saw the federal government cooperate with the state governments to counter the recession. The introduction of the New Deal policies by Franklin Roosevelt gave the federal government more power to manage the financial aid (Martinez and Richardson 319).
The federal government received the aid and distributed it to the state governments. The creation of the cooperative Federalism was initiated. The absolute power to manage these grants did not ensure equitable economic development in the various states. The early 20th and 21st centuries witnessed the evolution of Cooperative Federalism to New Federalism (Martinez and Richardson 322).
President Ronald Reagan championed the shift of power from the central government to the state governments. This shift was witnessed between 1981 and 1989 and was referred to as the devolution evolution. This recent evolution has enjoyed the test of time and is still in practice today.
What was achieved in this evolution was the restoration of lost autonomy and creation of political balance between the governments (Helfman 116). Presidents that succeeded Reagan have handled this with utmost care to ensure that US remains united in all its economic, social and political goals.
The national government is superior in the sense that it ensures matters of national interest remain intact and orderly (Bailyn 16). It is upon it to ensure that states function as required by the law. The national government would thus intervene and avert cases where a state rises against the other (Martinez and Richardson 331).
It ensures that all the citizens within states adhere to both laws. A practical example involved the contested 2000 Presidential election. The disputed votes in Florida exposed America to one of the biggest legal tussles due to issues of jurisdiction (Martinez and Richardson 333).
It was a big test for both governments, at a time when the world was awaiting to witness the election of the 43rd president of USA. The US Supreme Court was the final player in this matter and ensured that the contestation was over (Bailyn 18).
This clearly attests to the fact that the national government may be forced to intervene once a matter within a state is of national interest. The local government plays a crucial role in the expansion of education, health and sanitation facilities. It is however important to establish whether a facility is of state or national interest.
The federal government is keen on highway, airport and sewage plants projects that benefit people from various states. It is therefore common to have federal funding for such projects. The federal government stipulates policies that govern the allocation of such funds.
If I were to design a constitution for a foreign government, I would construct a federalist system of government. In my view, Federalism is superior to a unified system.
A number of reasons can be cited to sufficiently support this claim. Federalism has proved to be the most effective way of power sharing without bringing a picture of political division. A concentrated power experienced in unified systems has been a source of limited democracy (Smith 28). The emergence and growth of monarchial empires have been a fruit of unified system.
Federalism ensures that policies and politics are decentralized for the good of all. It’s upon the states to decide what policies to adopt and which persons to spearhead their implementation. The adoption of policies in consideration of cultural and social norms is made possible through federalism. The state governments have been associated with remarkable innovation and democracy.
Moreover, the abolishment of slave trade in some states and the realization of affirmative action for women were witnessed in some states. Increased public participation through voting has sensitized people towards the awareness of their political rights.
Federalism, therefore, ensures that the public interests are accommodated at one level or the other. Policies that are rejected by a state may be acceptable to the national government. A practical example is the racial integration that was criticized and opposed by the southern states in 1960 (Bailyn 23).
The national government viewed the integration as a step towards attaining racial equality. Federalism is important in ensuring that decision making accommodates the needs of the citizens within a given state. A fair democratic system is that which offers a platform for positive criticism.
Federalism has proved crucial in the positive challenge of policies that may seem inappropriate at a given time. It is for this reason that a person may become a successful governor in a given state but fail to be elected at the national level. Federalism is therefore preferable to the unified system of government.
The essay has discussed how federalism has evolved since James Madison wrote The Federalist No. 51 and the effects of Federalism on American politics. It has also explained my opinion on why I would construct a federalist government instead of a unified system if I were to design a constitution for a foreign government.
Bailyn, Bernard. The Federalist Papers. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2007: Pp. 13-24
Hamilton, Alexander, Madison, James and Jay, John. The Federalist Papers: 1787–88.
Reprint, New York: New American Library of World Literature, 2001: Pp. 43-76
Helfman, Tara. “The Law of Nations: The Federalist Papers’.” Journal of Legal History, 23 (August): 2000, Pp.107–128.
Martinez, J. Michael, and Richardson, D. William.”The Federalist Papers and Legal Interpretation.” South Dakota Law Review, 45, 2000: Pp. 307–333.
Smith, Jennifer. Understanding Federalism. UBC Press, 2005: Pp. 1-37
Modern Federalism Essay
Modern federalism is at crossroads in maintaining balance between national and state government. Development and evolution of democracy over the centuries has been focusing on devolution of central powers of government to increase independence of the local states. Currently, since the United States has experienced effectiveness of both national and local governments, the politicians are busy advocating for the balance between the two.
Some politicians are advocating for devolution to increase independence of various states and the subsequent development while others are advocating for centralization of powers for the standardization of laws and policies towards resolution of a common problem. Modern federalism in the United States does not distinguish between national issues and local issues because politicians are group the issue together as common problems that need common solution and hence centralization of issues.
Derthick argues that, “as these contrasting conceptions suggest, American federalism is a highly protean form, long on change and confusion, short on fixed, generally accepted principles” (Para. 3). Thus, the state of federalism in the United States is obscure because national and local forces are actively pulling their sides.
When vice president, Albert Gore, in 2000 sought presidential nomination on democratic ticket, he gave detailed manifesto on the issues that he would deal with if elected as president of the United States. Since the United States has devolved form of government with strong legislations that distinguish central and local government, the manifesto of Albert Gore did reflect federalism.
Among the issues in his manifesto was education, which lies in jurisdiction of the local government and not national government according to the federal legislations. “Gore’s ‘blizzard of positions’ included preschool for all children, a ban on gang-style clothing, teacher testing, ‘second-chance’ schools for trouble-prone students, back-to-school parent-teacher meetings where a strict discipline code would be signed, and ‘character education’ courses in the schools” (Derthick Para. 2).
The education manifesto of a presidential candidate reflects that national government still dominate local governments despite the devolution of powers and responsibilities.
Since Congress tends to formulate legislations that undermine federalism, judiciary has counteracted some of the legislation that deem unfavourable for federal system of government. For example, “in Printz v. U.S. (1997) the court invalidated a provision of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that required local law enforcement officers to conduct background checks on all gun purchasers” (Derthick Para. 8).
The court ruled out that the provision would contravene the tenth amendment to the United States constitution by giving local government the mandate to carry out responsibility of the federal government.
Moreover, in electoral politics, modern constitutional amendments have favoured centralization of electoral process and voting rights though earlier devolution gave local governments the responsibility to run and control their own electoral process and legislations. Thus, shift in electoral powers means that the United States is centralizing some of the already devolved powers.
Due to increasing common interests of various states in terms of education, security, democracy, and development, the central government is gradually usurping devolved powers of various states with the objective of enhancing concerted efforts towards resolution of critical issues. In this view, federalism is growing gradually at the expense of devolution. That is why the United States president still has imperial powers to command respective states concerning matters that deem to be common amongst various states.
Derthick, Martha. “American Federalism: Half Full or Half Empty.” The Brookings Institution. 2000. Web. <https://www.brookings.edu/articles/american-federalism-half-full-or-half-empty/>
The Case for a Federalism Amendment Essay (Article)
The article (Barnett 2009) on federal amendments is very important because it sheds light on the responsibilities of the federal government and those of state governments. Many are times when the American government has been criticized for going beyond its designated mandates.
This is because individual states feel that they are not able to exercise their freedom fully due to interruptions from the federal government. Michigan has boldly expressed its opinion regarding this matter because this state feels that the federal government is imposing policies that are not included in the constitution.
All the fifty states have their respective parliaments or legislature which can be useful in pushing for changes in the constitution if they feel that the laws imposed by the federal government are not appropriate.
For the changes in the constitution to occur the state parliament must gather support from other states for their petitions to be considered valid. This means that the states have the authority to reject decisions made by the federal government. But the number that can call for amendments must be the majority of the states, say like three quarter of all fifty states.
The above mentioned authority conferred to the states by the constitution makes the congress tremble because congress men and women fear that they won’t have any powers over the states hence they would be gagged. The main agenda here is the evenness or equality on how the powers are shared between the federal government and the states governments without interfering with the rights of their people.
One of the main issues that have been bothering most people is federal taxation and a suggestion has been brought forward that could see it being scrapped off and its place be replaced by sales tax. I think this is a good idea because no one can evade such taxes because whether one likes it or not the commodity prices will incorporate taxes such that the people do not have to account for their taxes because they pay them when purchasing goods and services.
Barnett (2009) has some suggestions which can help create equality between the federal government and the individual states without interfering with the rights of people. The first suggestion states that the federal government has authority to control the events that involve more than one state.
However, the second suggestion clearly explains that the federal government can not interfere with matters concerning an individual state at all. This policy ensures that individual states have full control of events within their respective borders. Perhaps this is because the happenings taking place in one nation may not affect the other states.
The third suggestion explains that although the congress is in charge of monetary allocations to individual states it can not dictate how that money will be used in those states. This means that each state must establish its projects that are urgent and thus give them the first priority. This is because the state legislatures are the ones that are familiar with the problems affecting their people hence they are the most appropriate people to make budgetary allocations.
The above statement means that when the people feel that their state legislature is failing them they should not blame the federal government but should instead clarify issues with their respective representatives into the congress. This article is really an eye opener to many because most people don not understand the different roles and authorities that are conferred to the federal government and the state legislature.
Section five of amendment means that the judges have a collective obligation to monitor the authority of the congress by vetting its executions to determine whether they are justified or not. This implies that the judges can reject ideas being proposed by the congress if they don’t safeguard the freedom of individuals.
What has really caught my attention is the fact that the federal tax can be eliminated. There are so many people in the recent past who have been prosecuted for failing to submit tax returns documents. If this policy is implemented such cases will never happen again. This article (Barnett 2009) has clearly defined the boundaries between the congress and the individual states.
Before reading this article I thought that the states had to consult the federal government before implementing anything. But this can only happen if the intended action may involve other states. For instance, the states can not go to declare war because that is the duty of federal government.
Landy and Milkis (2008) argue that this is quite logical because the federal government is the one that manages the military operations. This means that the military has central point of authority. This magnitude of freedom is important because in as much the states are different they may have varied agendas in their respective states and the congress may not understand the relevance of certain issues to a given state. Setting a boundary for the congress ensures that it does not interfere with the progress of states.
Engaging the congress in events between various states is important because incase of any disagreements the congress can be consulted as an intermediary in solving the problems that may arise. This implies that the federal government ensures that states abide to the terms of agreements established at the onset of partnership.
The congress here is meant to foster unity among the states and serves as an umbrella for shielding all of its member states. Furthermore, if all policies were to left in the hands the states would loose greatly because we all know that there are hardly any laws that are passed in the congress.
Some of the questions raised by the author have been resolved, such as the one about equality between the authority of the federal government and that of state because the boundaries are meant to avoid any clashes involving the two entities. On the other hand, the question about whether the suggested policies can be implemented has been left unresolved because the author does not highlight on the willingness of the states and the congress to adopt the policies.
Barnett, Randy. 2009. “The Case for a Federalism Amendment”. The Wall Street Journal. Web
Landy, Marc and Milkis Sidney. 2008. American Government: Balancing Democracy and Rights. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Federalism System, Its Advantages and Disadvantages Report (Assessment)
Federalism is allocation or division of power between the state and the nation. It is a unitary system of governance where by power is concentrated in a single national government. Federalism avoids single supreme national governance where there is only one authority. The two levels always have final authority and self governance in specific areas. This means that the citizens always have political responsibility to both governments who also secure their rights in the country.
Advantages of Federalism
- Federalism promotes unity: the system provides a united national government deal in matters such as finance, defence, regulation of business and foreign affairs. Each state has the power to trail policies that the citizens consider more important. Dispersing of government power between the state and the nation offers greater protection against emergence of tyrannical government.
- Federalism promotes efficiency of government: distribution of power between the state and nation provides division of work and specialization of functions. Thus each unit can exercise functions that they are well suited which promotes efficiency.
- Federalism test policies and training of leaders. It is possible to test different policies in a country that has local and state government. If the policy proves to be beneficial, then it can be expanded to be used nationwide. It also offers opportunity to test the courage of selected leaders and to prove whether they are responsible.
- Federalism promotes liberty and self-governance. The system causes government to have control of itself because of great rivalry of power between the state and the nation. An action of one government is always opposed by other government to enforce civil rights in Southern states.
Disadvantages of Federalism
- Many people avoid following laws such as paying of sales taxes to state due to federalism. There are those who purchase goods in neighbouring state to escape sales tax in a particular state.
- It is difficult to enforce law on criminals because of federalism. This is because most people after they have committed a crime in a particular state, they escape and move to other states. Different states also have different laws making it hard to enforce law on visitors who had moved in the state.
- There are increased interstate conflicts due to federalism. There are some states which pursue policies which frustrate national policy because they cause them to sacrifice some of their interests to local interests such as segregation. States also engage in economic competition which causes economic warfare amongst them.
- Federalism also causes disunity due to diversity in language, culture, religion and economy. This normally causes disintegration and internal conflicts among different states (Dye, 114). The state and the nation always evade responsibility especially when it comes to dealing with environmental issues such as cleaning up of Great lakes. Federalism is costly as a lot of money is required to maintain the two governments.
Methods of Dealing with Problems of Federalism
- Each citizen of any particular state shall be entitled to equal rights, privileges and immunities.
- Each state shall give full credit and be faithful to judicial proceedings, public records and public actions of all other states.
- Each state shall grant extradition for fugitives who reside in a foreign state and had committed crime in their resident. They will have to face legal charges for their actions in whichever state they are in.
- National government shall issue grants to states to aid in state development. Each state will receive 22% to 28% funds annually to spend in development.
- States shall make agreement on how to deal with common problems that they face.
National and State Powers in American Federalism
The federal government has got many powers as stated in the constitution. Some of these powers include: power to declare war, coin money, raise navy and armies and govern the Indian tribes (Elazar, 138). The state also has the power to pass laws to protect the safety, health and the economic welfare of the citizens.
Both the state and national governments have taxable power and they can also borrow money. The federal government in America has special authority to control interstate businesses and trade with the foreign countries. The national government is also entitled to forming treaties and conducting foreign policies. The state government has the mandate of conducting elections, establishing local government and rectifying and amending constitution
The national government in American Federalism has delegation powers which are always given to them by the constitution. They also have implied powers which are necessary in delegation of power in the nation. Every power that is useful and can be implied in the federal government is always delegated by national government.
The national government also possess concurrent powers which enable them to exercises along with the state government. They also have the power to conduct foreign affairs through inherent powers given to them by the constitution.
Reasons for increase in the Powers of the Nation since 1788
The only way that American federalism was going to be restored and maintained was by reinstating major principals and empowering the state. This was meant to re-establish proper rule and national governance. In 1788, Fisher Ames of Massachusetts made a declaration to increase the powers of the national government. This was due to several reasons such as:
- Need to regulate interstate commerce power. America wanted to control all the economic activities of the nation and raising the national government powers would enable them achieve it. They will then have special authority to control interstate businesses and trade with the foreign countries.
- The desire to have war powers was also one of the reasons why national government power was increased since 1788. The government demands to have war powers were created by tragedies of modern wars. Possessing a lot of power will enable them have the authority to raise navy and armies that could control tragedies from happening by protecting the nation.
- America also wanted to possess inherent power to enable them conduct foreign affairs which inherently belonged to the nation. This is also one of the reasons as to why national powers were increased.
- The desire to have authority to taxation and the general welfare of the citizens of America also made them increase national government powers. Possessing taxation power under the 16th Amendment of constitution alleged an increase in power to the nation. Funds which consist of trillions of dollars were assigned to nations with taxation power to spend in programs that promote the general welfare of the citizens.
- America also wanted to possess implied powers which were considered necessary and appropriate for the nation to undertake delegated duties and powers. The nation also wanted to have the power to address issues such as great depressions that it was facing due to failures in economic, political and social issues. Possess power would probably give them the voice to air out their grievances.
Dye, Thomas. Politics in America, eighth edition/alternate edition. New York: Pearson/PH, 2009.
Elazar, Daniel. American Federalism: A View from the States. New York: Harper & Row, 1984.
Federalism in the United States Essay
Federalism is a government political system, which has both local units and states and national government. The system has powers to come up with final decisions based on some governmental practices. It is a government system with the national as well as state levels sharing political supremacy. The local units or states and the national government function autonomously.
The power assignments of the national government comprises of both implied and expressed powers. Article I, Section 8 presents the majority of the expressed authorities. The Implied powers permit the central government to come up with decisions, which are not part of the expressed powers.
There is also the Necessary and Proper Clause in Article I, Section 8. Inherent Powers clause under Article I, Section 8 gives powers, which are acknowledged by every sovereign nation. State Governments powers clause was delegated to the national government through the Tenth Amendment. Through this, the national government has extended the capacity of governmental activities on a grand scale (Gerston 234).
There are other clauses under Article I, Section 8, like the Concurrent Powers clause, which provide powers shared by the national government with state governments. These include; the power to generate and implement laws, the police power, the power to levy tax, and the power to establish courts with limitation of extent.
Prohibited Powers at the same time concerns both the state and national governments. For example, there is a prohibition of export taxation for national government. On the other hand, the State governments are restricted from carrying out foreign policy as well as from coining money (Ginsberg, Theodore, Lowi &Weir 337).
The Supremacy Clause of Article VI authorizes the national government activities to be supreme. It also gives provision that any conflict involving legitimate practices of the national government with a state ought to be resolved in support of the national government. Similarly, the Interstate Relations under Article IV tries to resolve possible problems among states by specifying some clauses.
These clauses include full faith and credit clause, which ensure that the states ought to honor activities of other states. There are also the Privileges and immunities that require citizens of one state not to treat those from other states as aliens. For example, it gives a provision that when a citizen of a given state visits another state, he or she should get reception as a citizen of the state. The clause also plays a crucial role in interstate extradition.
It ensures that when a person is suspected to have done a crime in a given state and escape to another state, he should be extradited to the alleged crime scene state. In addition, the Article plays another role under Interstate compacts. It ensures the compacts between states to be permitted by Congress. This occurs when the compact changes the power connection between the national government and states (Zavodnyik, 108).
The McCulloch v. Maryland Supreme Court decision was necessary in expansion of national government powers. This case advanced a constitutional issue relevant to the national government powers. In this case, the Chief Justice John Marshall’s verdict confirmed national authority. The Congress power is not firmly restricted towards expressed powers. For example, Marshall held there were implied powers for Congress to execute the expressed powers.
Additionally, Marshall upheld the doctrine of supremacy through the decision that states would not override federal practices by taxing them. Gibbons v. Ogden case provides the national government precedent to control various economic activities. There was expanded explanation of what would be taken as interstate trade. Eventually, this description would permit Congress the authority to control broader economic activities compared to the past (LaCroix, 213).
The New Deal, as well as Cooperative Federalism, emphasized an extended duty for the national government. It encouraged the cooperation between the states and national government. The New Deal for instance responded to the Great Depression. This was through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s social-welfare programs intended to ease the unfavorable economic period. However, Dual federalism directed that programs like aid for the poor were completely not the federal duty (Gerston 187).
Gerston, Larry. American Federalism: A Concise Introduction Armonk. New York, United States: M.E. Sharp, 2007. Print.
Ginsberg, Benjamin, Theodore J. Lowi, and Weir, Margaret. We the People: An Introduction to American Politics. New York: W.W. Norton & Co Press, 2009. Print.
LaCroix, Alison. The Ideological Origins of American Federalism. Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States: Harvard University Press, 2010. Print.
Zavodnyik, Peter. The Rise of the Federal Colossus: The Growth of Federal Power from Lincoln to F.D.R. California: Santa Barbara Press, 2011. Print.
Costs and Benefits of Federalism Essay
Federalism refers to a governance system that allows the sharing of power between the central government and other political units of the country. The U.S. is the major country that uses the federal system of government. The U.S. is a very big country. It operates under 50 regional governments of the states. There is a separation of power between these states. The federal government organizes the governance of the country. The U.S. is one of the oldest federal governments. It approved federalism on 17th September 1787.
The American federal system of governance has undergone several changes. The fact that the U.S still maintains this system shows that the system must have various benefits. Some of the benefits include ensuring that the government remains close to the citizens of the country. However, federalism has various costs. Conflicts between the state and national government in the running of the United States is one of the major costs of federalism.
Federalism leads to the formation of small political units that help in the governance of the citizens of the country. In the U.S., states and counties are the small political units that help in the governance of the country. These political units have their own political leader. The governor is the political leader who helps in the governance of a state.
The leader is usually from within the state. Democratic nations usually ensure that citizens elect the political leader of the political unit. This helps in reducing the dominance of the majority in governance of the country. Therefore, federalism helps in increasing the liberty of the citizens of the nation.
Federalism leads to the formation of small governance units. The small units perform duties that the central authority would have performed. Education, security, and healthcare are some of the major services that state governments perform. Formation of small governance units makes it easy to govern a country with a large geographical area or population.
If the U.S. did not use federalism, it would have been very difficult to manage the country effectively. In addition, the local governance units are closer to the citizens. Therefore, they understand the problems in their areas. This makes it easy for them to choose and implement policies that would help in tackling the problems effectively (Kollman 25).
Nations strive to improve the patriotism of their citizens. This helps in improving the governance of the country. Federalism helps in improving the patriotism of the citizens of a country. It is a fact that people usually feel close to their hometowns or states. Federalism uses this loyalty to improve the patriotism of the citizens of a country by giving more power to the states. This enables it to improve the patriotism of the citizens of a country.
Federalism fosters the democratic governance of a country. It enables the government of various states to experiment with various policies. The state government can experiment with the policies since the effect of the policies would be limited. These experiments enable other states to implement the policies effectively. The successes or failures of the policies provide insights on how to implement the policies in their jurisdictions effectively.
However, the national government is not at liberty to experiment with policies. Failure of policies of the national government may have devastating effects on the well-being of the country. California is one of the states that has experimented with many policies. It is one of the first states to experiment with various environmental regulations. Other states and the federal government have studied the successes and failures of the policy in implementing various environmental regulations in their jurisdictions (Feeley and Rubin 26).
Federalism has several costs. It allocates various tasks to the national and state government. In some instances, this may lead to duplication of duties. Duplication of duties is the major limitation of federalism. It increases the inefficiency of the governance system. In addition, it increases bureaucracy.
It forces people to comply with regulations of the both the state government and the national government (Ward and Ward 188). In addition, federalism is a very expensive system of governance. It necessitates the election of many people to governance positions. This makes it difficult for poor countries to afford to use the system. In addition, increased bureaucracy of the federal system may lead to corruption.
Federalism empowers state governments. It enables them to create policies on various issues. This may hinder the creation of a national policy on various issues that affect the country. The policy of different states may be contradictory. This is despite the fact that the states are in one country. The U.S. highlights this scenario.
Despite the fact that the U.S. is one country, it does not have a unified policy on several issues. It has 50 policies that represent the 50 states. Lack of a unified policy creates confusion and makes it difficult to govern the nation. In addition, empowerment of state governments may lead to lack of accountability if policies fail. This is due to the fact that federalism leads to overlap of responsibilities of the national and state governments.
This may make the national and state government blame each other for the failure of the policies. Hurricane Katrina highlights the conflict of authority that may exist between the federal and state government. There was confusion between the federal government and the state government on who was responsible for the rescue operation. This delayed the rescue of people who were victims of the hurricane. It led to the loss of life of many people.
Federalism may lead to uneven distribution of the wealth of a nation. It is a fact that the distribution of natural resources, industries, and employment varies from one region to another. In addition, the state governments are only concerned about the development of their regions. Therefore, they may implement policies that may have adverse effects on other states. This may create conflicts between different states.
Governments of both developed and developing countries use the federalism. The success of this system has made many countries to contemplate using the system of governance. However, prior to implementing the system of governance, it is vital for the countries to consider the cost and benefits of the system.
They should ensure that federalism enhances the strengths of the country. More than 200 years of continuous alteration of the federal system of the U.S. has enabled it to tackle some of the problems that federalism faces. Therefore, the U.S. provides a good case study for other countries that strive to implement federalism. However, the U.S. has been unable to tackle all the problems of federalism.
Feeley, Malcolm and Edward Rubin. Federalism: Political identity and tragic compromise. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2008. Print.
Kollman, Ken. The American political system. New York: W W Norton & Company Incorporated, 2011. Print.
Ward, Ann and Lee Ward. The Ashgate research companion to federalism. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013. Print.
Federalism and separation of powers Essay
In the article it is clear that in the 2004 presidential election federalism was noticeably absent and no party candidate brought up issues that weighed down the states and localities. The contest was streamlined by the then on-going war against terrorism and the fluctuating conditions in Iraq.
While there was much progress on internal security, a continuation of intergovernmental wrangles over federal grants proceeded. In a number of policy areas such as healthcare, education and general environmental protection, the federal-state disputes were quite evident.
The economic growth rose as states encountered an increase in revenue but their financial state was fogged up by the rise in costs for education, Medicaid not leaving out employee pensions and prisons (Krane & Koenig 2005).
The decisions made by the United States’ Supreme Court with regards to cases where they ruled with a federal aspect has suggested that the court acted in a way to cut back power of the Congress instead of granting the states more power.
Most of the events that unraveled in the first Bush administration should be seen in a broader perspective against the changes that took place in the political party system. The Democratic Administration in 2004 only gave a suggestion in a federalism dimension that the resolution to outlaw (or not) gay marriage be handled by state governments.
Federalism in America has grown to be more nationalized and this is well demonstrated by the alterations that occurred in policy control as well as party organization in particular the Bush administration.
Federalism is a political ideology in which members of a group are bounded by an accord headed by a representative chair. Federalism illustrates a governmental system where sovereignty is divided between states and a central governing body according to the constitution.
It can also be used to describe a system where authoritative power is shared between constituent political units and a national government thus establishing a federation. Separation of powers refers to a systematic method in which a state or political unit is governed.
In this, there is a division of states into branches which have powers and responsibilities separate from each other and no branch exceeds the other in power. In accordance to the United States constitution, Article1 section 1 bestows the Congress “legislative powers herein granted” and further lists those acceptable actions in Article 1 Section 8 whereas section 9 gives a listing of forbidden measures by the Congress.
The concept of federalism
In the American constitution, specific powers were bestowed upon the national government and in the tenth amendment of 1791, it stated “the powers not delegated to the United States by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to states, are reserved to states, respectively, or to the people” (LaCroix 2010).
But over time, both economic and social transformations have resulted to a change in the balance of powers which is between the states and central government. One concept of federalism is the constitutional framework.
The constitution vividly favors the federal government when it comes to the balance of powers between the states and the federal government.
There are powers delegated to the central government such as Congress is to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper” (Article1, Section 8) while little power is given to the states in comparison to the federal government (Zavodnyik 2011).
The constitution on the other hand gave the states power in some sectors for instance they were allowed to establish voter credentials and also create mechanisms that guided the congressional elections. The imbalance of power between the two was amended in the Tenth Amendment.
Under the concept of dual federalism, it was proposed that authority given to federal government be distinctive and have limitations with definite duties be assigned to national government and the rest of the tasks be given to the state governments.
And this indicates that the central government is prohibited from involving itself on the specialties given to the state government or else it would be violating the state constitutional right. In the US, cooperative federalism arose when federal governmental power increased in response to the Great Depression in the period of the New Deal.
It is emphatic that responsibilities of both state and federal government overlie each other and it gives a slack perception of the elastic clause which grants a go ahead of power to surge via federal government.
Concept of separation of powers
Under this concept, it contains a couple of fundamentals that is the ideology of three separate branches of the government which include the executive, legislature and the judiciary. The separation of powers which was designed by framers of the constitution aimed to avert any branch from having the majority rule.
In the Constitution of Virginia in 1776: “The legislature, executive and judiciary departments shall be separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the powers properly belonging to the other: nor shall any person exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time.…” (LaCroix 2010).
In each of the three branches they have powers that are checked and balanced by another branch. For instance, the president has the power to appoint a judge but this appointment must have an approval by the senate.
These checks and balances compel the branches to have accountability over the other branch. Therefore, concluding that in the concept of separation of powers, no branch can have dominant power over the other.
Krane, D. & Koenig, H. (2005). The State of American Federalism, 2004: Is Federalism Still a Core Value? Publius 1-8.
LaCroix, A. L. (2010). The Ideological Origins of American Federalism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Zavodnyik, P. (2011). The Rise of the Federal Colossus: The Growth of Federal Power from Lincoln to F.D.R. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO.
Current Issue in Federalism Essay
Throughout the world’s history, conflicts have emerged on how to unite state and federal powers within one system of governance. To date, several controversies indicate how these conflicts continue. This paper examines the current federal issue of the same-sex marriage, its pros and cons, and my own opinion regarding the best power division.
Same-sex marriage was once a concern for individual states, but currently it is emerging as a federal issue. This has triggered the debate to shift from the state courts and legislatures to the federal courts with the interest groups looking for the best platform to present their case.
Earlier, the federal government was prohibited to legalize same-sex marriage by the Defense of Marriage Act. In addition, state governments were also included. However, as from 2004, states began legalizing it.
Relative to the advantages, federal involvement on same-sex marriage can promote individualism. This will help with accommodation of interests of the bigger majority like culture, style, or language (Bond & Smith, p. 76).
However, state government is better placed to enhance policy positions that are specific to its area and needs of its constituents. On the other hand, federal government formulates policies that cater for the majority in order to create a balance between the states. Next, it will allow for experimentation of various laws and policies across different states.
In regard to the disadvantages, federal government involvement in the same-sex marriage has contributed to various challenges. First and foremost, conflicts have erupted between states due to different policies pertaining same-sex marriage (Bond & Smith, p. 86). Different states develop their own individual customs and culture pertaining to same-sex marriage.
Every time one crosses a state boundary he or she is bound by different laws and policies. Therefore, it is challenging for the federal government to come up with a strong policy as the states are often divided on the issue. Secondly, this has an adverse effect on the economy.
The central government is responsible for handling the overall economy although each state has its unique economy. Same-sex marriage faces huge economic disparities, as opposed to heterosexual marriages. Same-sex couples are not legitimately recognized as married couples. In this case, they are not entitled to some of the states’ or federal government benefits such as exemption from taxes like the heterosexual couples.
For instance, a heterosexual spouse is not subjected to taxation in inheritance cases from his or her deceased partner whereas a same-sex couple is subjected taxation. Furthermore, federalism has led to the growth of inequality mostly among the minority groups. This leads to mental problems such as stress due to stigmatization.
Studies from various states prohibiting same-sex marriages have revealed that the majority of same-sex couples exhibited mental heath problems. This was attributed to minority stress resulting from stigmatization of the minority groups and psychological distress.
Moreover, the negative campaign associated with its ban is what increased the stress. Apart from the mental health problem, the ban on same-sex marriage leads to other physical health problems. For instance, its ban is said to have triggered an increase in HIV infection in some states.
Finally, the division of power between federal and state government based on confederation is the best. In this case, the federal government receives direct grant power from the states government, but not from the citizens (Bond & Smith, p. 73).
This would allow for optimum resource utilization and formulation of policies. As mentioned, state government is better placed to handle local needs. Thus, the federal government would be best suited for international issues and defense.
Bond, Jon R. & K.B. Smith. The Promise and Performance of American Democracy. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education, 2008. Print.
Federalism Concept Research Paper
The concept of federalism is one, which member groups are bound in togetherness by a covenant. There has to be a representative from the government who acts as their head.
Federalism can also take a form of government where there is some division between the central government and various political units for example states or provinces that operate autonomously. In any federal government, there has to be well formulated democratic rules with the power and authority to govern. The member states must thus share this power constituting what is referred to as a federation.
In federation, the constituent governments must be in favor of the federal government which has distributed powers across the national, supranational and regional level (Eugene, 2007). The most political influential movement since the early 1790s has been federalism. This is why a lot of emphasis should be put when it comes to formulating its policies and rules that will be operational over a long period of time.
Considerations in developing Emergency Response Policies
For effective development of emergency response policies there should be special considerations to issues that affect the federal government and federalism in general (Dye, 2010). This should be made with regard to views of the stakeholders since every federal government’s view must be represented in formulating the policies. The following are the considerations:
Involve stakeholders: members who form part of the federal government must be made aware and their views sorted in the process of formulating policies. This is done so as to represent each one’s view in the policies to be made.
Prediction system in place; there should be a well laid down prediction system which tries to preempt and foresee the occurrences of the emergencies and how each can be evaded. There should also be a very strong connection between the prediction system and the emergency response policies made. This will ensure anything that occurs do not take the government with a surprise.
Mechanisms and Procedures of response: there should be an appropriate differentiated procedure aimed at slowing down emergencies. Policies should thus be made alongside this consideration.
Financial consideration: there should be a flexible financial base to deal with any form of emergencies. In developing emergency policies, there should also be adequate finances to finance the whole process. There should also be good reinforcement plans to ensure the policies are operational, all these depends on finances so financial analysis is a basic consideration in emergency policy formulation.
Public Policy Lifecycle
Public policy lifecycle has a number of stages; starting from creation to the final stage which is repealed (Page, 2010). In general, the whole policy lifecycle consists of five stages. Discussion and debate; this is where policy proposals are presented to the members and each one gives his view or criticism before it moves to the second stage.
Political action; here politicians vote for or against the proposed policy, if majority vote for the policy it moves to the next step. Legislative proposal; here policy makers discuss possible solutions regarding whether to adopt the new policy or amend the existing one. The next step is law and regulation; here critical decisions are made, the public are excluded from this stage.
Here there are issues like, litigation, issue advocacy before the policy becomes effective. The final step is compliance; this is where the policy’s effectiveness is evaluated whether or not it meets its intents. If it is realized that the policy had not met its objective at any of the life cycle stages, there is repeal and the whole process begins afresh.
Importance of Developing a viable Policy
Viable policies will support growth and development; this is because they assist in directing resources towards viable cause which contributes to economic development.
Viable policies also create harmony and peace among the stakeholders, this is because federal government constituents will feel part of the policy and therefore contribute towards its effective implementation. Finally, viable policies assist in development of various administrative systems and institutions which fight bribery, fraudulent activities and corruption in public resources.
Dye, T. R. (2010). Understanding Public Policy, (13th Ed.). New York, NY: Longman Pearson Publishers.
Eugene, W. H. (2007). Why States? The Challenge of Federalism. Oxford: Heritage Books Publishers.
Page, S. (2010). 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures, (5th Ed.). Process Boston: Improvement Publishing.