Evolving Federalism Pre-Class Assignment Federalism by definition is the division of power between a central government and its participating members. How that power is divided is the subjective aspect of federalism that was before the framers of the United States. Through compromise and necessity the seeds for a strong central government were planted alongside already strong state governments. Over time the seeds for strong central government grew; wars, economic fluctuations and national growth established a strong central government. As America’s idea of federalism changed the central government grew more powerful, the state’s government gave more power away, and local governments were established.
The United States of America is one of the most powerful nation-states in the world today. The framers of the American Constitution spent a great deal of time and effort into making sure this power wasn’t too centralized in one aspect of the government. They created three branches of government to help maintain a checks and balance system. In this paper I will discuss these three branches, the legislative, the executive, and the judicial, for both the state and federal level.
Federalism in America Federalism is a concept that started many years ago during the times of the ratification of the document we live by called the Constitution. This concept basically states that there will be two levels of government, the national and the state. Federalism states that the national and state governments are separate entities and have formal authority over the same area and people. With its largest effect was during the Civil rights movement. Federalism isn’t a natural outgrowth of the Articles of Confederation.
American politics is often defined by a continuing power conflict between the executive and the legislative branches of the government. This struggle for political power between the two stronger branches of the three is inherent in the Constitution, itself. The concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances ensure that the branches of government will remain in conflict and provide a balance that keeps the entire government under control. As it was first established, the executive branch was much smaller and weaker than as we know it today. Consequently, the legislative branch was unquestionably dominant. Over the course of history, the executive branch grew in both size and power to the point where it occasionally overtook the legislative and today rivals the legislative in a much closer political battle. Today both branches have major factors that contribute to their power, but on the whole the legislative remains the lastingly dominant branch.
Abraham Lincoln was elected as sixteenth president of the United States of America in 1861 and served until his assassination in 1865. He is viewed as a popular political figure and is known as the “Great Emancipator” for his role in freeing the slaves during the 1860s (Columbia University Press 2013, 1). He delivered the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 that declared “all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are, and henceforth shall remain free” (Columbia University Press 2013, 1). Although the Proclamation made Lincoln seem like a hero, others would soon realize that the proclamation was a war tactic and in reality did not put an end to slavery. In The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, the reader will discover facts about President Lincoln that are not told in the average history book. Within the chapters of DiLorenzo’s book, he explains Lincoln’s true view on slavery, reasons for his political success, and why Lincoln encouraged war between the North and the South.
Out of all the documents signed throughout history in attempt to benefit our country, Abraham Lincoln felt that his document, Emancipation Proclamation, was most important. On January 1, 1763, approaching the third year of the very bloody civil war, President Abraham Lincoln released the Proclamation which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states, “ are, and henceforward shall be free”(U.S National Archives & Records Administration). However, this only applied to the states that had been labeled as being rebellion, not to the slaveholding border states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and the areas that the Confederacy had already come under the Union Control. Abraham Lincoln released the document at the right time to ensure that it would make a positive impact and change completely, the aim of the war. To this day, the Emancipation Proclamation shows an example of equality and cognizance (Weider History Group, n.p).
The Emancipation Proclamation proposes a central question of “who truly freed the slaves?” in the 1860s. The question is a broad debate, posing many aspects and a variety of opinions. The common educated American might suggest that this was Abraham Lincoln’s doing, considering he was president at the time of action. But historians who look deeper into the situation to scope out other answers to the question, offering the idea that it was the slaves themselves, or even individual states. However, the war itself was the primary factor for setting the slaves free because without the Civil War, the “door to freedom would have remained closed” until another large uprising came about to put an end to slavery (131).
The Constitution of the United States set up an intricate government with a very brief document. The Constitution is actually shorter than this essay, but was still able to set up all of the procedures that make our government act so slowly today. One process that takes an especially long time is passing a bill to make a law. Every governmental action has to be put into writing and then passed by the Congress and the Supreme Court. Too many government agencies have to examine every bill. The United States government only starts at the national level with the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches. Everything breaks down into more areas such as the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Federal government's semi-equal is the state government. State government breaks down into several subsidiaries as well. The court system is an excellent example of how a government system breaks down from a national to a community level. For instance, the high court in America is the U.S. Supreme Court. The step down from ther...
The legislative, executive, and judicial branches represent the constitutional infrastructure foreseen by the Founding Fathers for our nation 's governing body. Together, they work to maintain a system of lawmaking and administration based on checks and balances, and separation of powers intended to make certain that no individual or embodiment of government ever becomes too controlling. America is governed by a democratic government or a democracy which is a government by the people, in which the power is established in the people themselves. The people then elect representatives who carry out their power in a free electoral system. The United States government’s basic claim is to serve the people and only through a combined effort can we
Johnson, Michael, and Allen C. Guelzo. “Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America.” Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. Michigan Publishing, n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.