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The United States And Federalism Essay

1436 words - 6 pages

Federalism can be seen as the cornerstone of liberty and the constitutional structure of America. The Founders were looking for a system that would provide them with cohesiveness between the individual states and a government. The initial widespread loyalty to the state governments prevented the Founders from wanting a unitary system. A system with a more moderate option was chosen that provided national unity, but allowed for local representation and authority to occur within the states as well. This federalist system has proven to have many benefits that met the Founders needs in a government.

Federalism allows states to be independent in their policy making while also integrated within the federal system. This system allows the states to regulate their own issues while also staying connected through the federal system. The delegation of smaller government entities also allows the needs of specific groups and local representation to be more accessible to the people that they are representing. This allows for all states to have representation that is more specific to their needs and wants than broad generalizations and detachment in other forms of government. This system while allowing for constituents to be represented in a system that is beneficial to them it also insures the national government enough power to step in and correct a situation if a state is infringing on the rights of a minority. This is something that was in fact discussed in the creation of the United States system. In the Federalist Papers, number 10, by Madison he expressed that the “republican remedy for the diseases most incident to republican government,” stating that with a large republic like the one the Founders envisioned in the Constitution would in fact be less likely to fall victim to the pitfalls and disputes of a small republic. He also mentions it again in paper number 51, stating the “plurality” of differences and interest will exist in a large commercial republic will also stop any one group form uniting to deprive the rights of the smaller groups. (Hamilton, Madison, & Jay, 2009)

The constitution also specifically laid out the powers of the states and the federal government by creating guidelines of what they each controlled. Under the constitution the power of the national government included but was not strictly limited to printing money, declaring war, establishing a military force, entering into treaties with foreign governments, regulating commerce between states and international trade, establish post offices and postages, and also make necessary laws to enforce the constitution. The states were also granted specific powers and these were to establish local governments, issue licenses, regulate interstate commerce, conduct elections, ratify amendments to the US constitution, and provide for the public’s safety and health. The states were also granted the ability to exercise powers neither delegated to the national government nor...

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