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Federalism Essay

756 words - 4 pages

Federalism is a form of government that divides power between central government and states government. Federalism allows states to be independent in their own 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. Federalism is one of the most important and innovative concepts in the United States Constitution, although the word never appears there. In America, the states existed first, and they struggled to create a national government. Confideracy had been tried by the thirteen states under the Articles of confederation, and was found to be lacking, in that it did not provide adequate cohesiveness between the individual nation-states. The Articles of confederation establish a government but, limit the powers of the central government. This was a crucial flaw with the Articles of confederation, the central government had no power of national taxation, no power to control trade, and it provided for a comparatively weak executive. Therefore it could not enforce legislation or make states honor national obligations. Even before the constitution was ratified, strong argument were made by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in the federalist papers urging the inclusion of a federal form of government to replace the failed confederation. The people of the United States needed a central government that was capable of holding certain powers over the states. The founders were looking for a system that would provide them with cohesiveness between the individual states and the national 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. Federalism was selected as the most appealing system of government in 1787, because that system of government had many benefits that met the founder’s needs in a government. The founding fathers decided that the American Form of government, through its constitution, would serve as a protector of the fires of liberty by preserving the union of states, and ensuring that individual freedoms and state sovereignty maintain a voice in the system. Those who feared that the federal government...

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