The central question of federalism is “Who should do what?” National government supporters believe only a strong central government is capable of ensuring the rights and liberties of its citizens. States’ rights advocates argue for limiting the implied powers of the national government. Federalism was a compromise for the conflict of states’ rights versus central authority. Federalism divides power between the national and the lower level governments with each having distinct powers that the other cannot override. (pg.
However when problems get to large for a single state run government to handle, the national (federal) government will proceed to step in and set forth the necessary measures to control the situation. The founding fathers were quite concerned when writing the Constitution about what the breakdown of power should be. They did not want the central government to hold too much power like it had in England, but they needed a federal government stronger than the Articles of Confederation to keep the states together. When reading the Constitution you see many examples of compromises between the power of the federal government and the power of the states. There are limits set on for states, limits set on Congress, and... ... middle of paper ... ...so the Senate was given the majority rule over any treaty that has been negotiated by the president.
Areas such as war, negotiation, and foreign commerce were some of the only circumstances in which the national government had absolute power. By limiting the national governments power in this way, the writers felt that they had ensured the sovereignty of the individual states. Also, people have a tendency to feel more connected to their state government than they would a national government. Therefore, by giving the states more power, people are more likely to be happy with their government. Federalist papers 45 and 46 are both arguments by James Madison as to why the people should not be afraid of the proposed Constitution and the powers it entailed regarding the national government.
The founders of the U.S. were very focused on limiting state power, and therefore created many checks to prevent states from rising above the federal government. This includes Article VI, which states how federal law is the, “Supreme Law of the Land.” This means that any federal law put into legislation, or stated in the Constitution, trumps any state law. Therefore, the states have to obey and respect federal law. This was necessary because this made a statement to each state after the Articles of Confederation. It portrayed that states no longer had the explicit power to operate separately from the federal government, but were rather joining into a Union under one law.
When it comes to identifying the powers of the federal government, we know where to look, but it can be complicating at times. Article I of the Constitution provides a list, which specifies powers to each branch of government. The debate is, and has always been, how to interpret the meaning of these provisions and how broadly or narrowly to interpret that meaning. Although the Constitution provides a specific list of limitations on state powers along with a list of certain rights, it does not provide any written list of state powers or even a general statement as to their scope. In America, the states existed first, and they struggled to create a national government.
Dating back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the balance of national interests and states’ interest has been highly disputed as a part of our intricate government structure. The application of federalism has varied over time and that is evident by the evolving roles and relationship between the central government and the states. The current state of American federalism cannot be accurately defined by a single practice of federalism but rather a “complex mix of all the elements our nation’s political system has experienced in the past” (Bianco and Canon 2015, 83). The most apparent characteristic of our system however is cooperative federalism. Cooperative federalism is represented by the national and state governments
Under Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that "[t]he judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Article III establishes the Court as the chief authority of the judicial branch making it equal to the executive and legislative branches (Lieberman, 2003, p 3). The Judiciary Act of 1789 not only set up the federal court system and used the Court’s jurisdiction under the Constitution as a basis for granting it broad powers that are recognized everywhere. According to Abraham (1983), “There is no gainsaying the importance and the majesty of the most powerful of courts, not only in the United States, but the entire free world (p. 19).” The French political observer Alexis de Tocqueville noted the uniqueness of the Supreme Courts in the history of nations and jurisprudence. He stated, “The representative system of government has been adopted in several states of Europe, but I am unaware that any nation of the globe has hitherto organized judicial power in the same manner as the Americans.
) What is federalism and how is it important? Federalism is the federal, or national, principle or system of government. It is a system of government in which powers are apportioned between a national, central government and regional governments such as states and local governments. The United States Constitution created federalism. Federalism includes delegated or express powers that belong solely to the federal government such as coining money, declaring war, paying debts, raising an army, punishing pirates, establishing a postal service, and foreign policy under Article I.
This core concept influenced the policies they sponsored, their ideologies, our government, and how the constitution is, was, and just might always be viewed. A notable example of their differences was how Hamilton and Jefferson argued about how the federal government should interpret the Constitution. Jefferson wished for the Constitution to be read in as literal a sense as possible and limited the implied powers of Congress, a process called Strict Construction. Hamilton, as always with Jefferson's ideas, disagreed with this. Hamilton advocated for Broad Construction, the belief that Congress is allowed to exercise their implied powers.
Two competing theories about federalism inform the political and legal debates that deal with the Commerce Clause provided to the Congress by the Constitution. Dual Federalism, a political theory that purports states rights, champions the view that federal and state powers, as prescribed by the Constitution, are "mutually exclusive, conflicting, and antagonistic." (Ducat,p.271) This view suggests that the Constitution created dual sovereigns and that both levels of government had their own responsibilities. In order to understand what the legal ramification of dualist theory, one must first understand its interpretations of the Constitution. The dualist approach requires an exact and strict interpretation of the enumerated powers given to the nation... ... middle of paper ... ...t that, invariably in the three decisions that gave states more rights, a need to curb national government supremacy was a more important factor than the Tenth Amendment.