Page 1 of 2

Centralization vs. Decentralization in America. Federalism. Is mo...

Continues for 1 more pages »
Read full document

Centralization vs. Decentralization in America. Federalism. Is most of the power of America given to the states, or to the national government?

  • By
  • Feb. 16, 2004
  • 544 Words
  • 93 Views
Page 1 of 2
Federalism has always been an issue for the USA since the 228 years ago we were declared a nation. Federalism is having two or more governments rule over the citizens of a country. A decentralized government is where the states govern the people, and a centralized government is where there is a national government to rule all the states. Each one leaves little power for the other.

The Articles of Confederation left many examples of how the USA started with a decentralized government. It made sure to leave almost no power to the central government. In fact, one article says states are supreme within their borders over government rule. The national government could only coordinate, not control. Another problem with the Articles of Confederation was that the national government had no power to tax the states, which would've lead to many problems with future technology. The Articles of Confederation were also very hard to change. Each state had one vote in congress, regardless of population, and a change in The Articles of Confederation would only be passed if the votes were unanimous. If one of the 13 states had a difference of opinion, it could prevent any laws being passed.

After many problems with this, the founders of the USA came up with the Constitution, after being influenced by the two Social Contract theories (one stating that people work together and will agree, and one saying the government can be replaced), and the idea of breaking the government into three separate branches. To fix the problem of the states being the supreme rule, they stated that the Constitution was supreme, so that the national laws were above state laws. When they saw a problem with the way it was almost impossible to create new laws, they created the checks and balance system. When amending the Constitution, it can be passed with 2/3 of congress and 3/4 of the state legislature approving the amendment. In the Articles of Confederation, the amendment could have never been...