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The Evolution Vs. Devolution Of The U.S. Federal Government

2241 words - 9 pages

American Government4/18/2012The Evolution vs. Devolution of the U.S. Federal GovernmentIntroductionThe extent of control the government has in the American people's lives and how well it represents those people is what sparked a revolution that gave birth to the United States, and the same debate also led a civil war that tore our country apart. As you can see this topic is one many Americans feel strongly about. These debates led to the distinction of the Federalist vs. the Anti- Federalist. The Federalist supported a strong central government that could deal with the issues that states might disagree on, essentially moving toward a unification of the states. The Anti-Federalist feared this central government would in time grow into a tyrannical body that the states had fought to get away from. Today the debate still rages on about whether our government should play an active role in our lives or sit on the sidelines.Today this argument is still being discussed but In terms of members of the Republican and Democratic parties. For the most part the Democrats would take the federalist role and the Republicans would argue the anti-federalist role. Since the times of our founding fathers there is a general consensus that our government has slowly evolved in the pro federalist direction. However it has been a tug of war battle with both sides gaining and losing power.Evolution Landmark Events and ArgumentsThe pro evolution Federalists and Democrats would argue that our nation needs a strong centralized government to deal with the issues we face. Also argued is that states are far too fragmented and different ideologically to be constantly consulted on all the issues we must overcome. The founders saw this issue first hand when trying to raise an army to fight the revolution. There were many states with varying views and levels of commitment that made unification a very hard process.Since the days of our original government we have seen three major shifts toward the growth of our federal government. The first was a revision of the articles of confederation which shifted state authority to a stronger federal government(Wilson 13). The second during the Civil War were the south claimed the state's rights trumped the federal governments(Wilson 82). The Third during the great depression, in which FDR enacted a series of new programs called the New Deal that included Social Security, Welfare, and more federally funded jobs(Wilson 190).The common trend we see where large expansion occurs is there is usually some from crisis, whether it be war, economic downturn, or civil disobedience. The writing of the second constitution was a reaction to the Shaw Rebellion and federal funding needs, the New Deal programs came about during a time of economic depression, and military and government funding skyrocket after the attacks of September 11.Devolution Landmark Events and ArgumentsHistorically the Anti Federalists believed in small government and today that believe...

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