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Charting the Change of Federalism

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Charting the Change of Federalism

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  • September 2011
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Charting the change of Federalism

Two centuries ago our nation leaders were in pursuit of establishing a more perfect nation, taking into account a set of ideas: liberty, equality, and limited government. Federalism became a pressing issue when the constitution was written. The constitution was designed to ensure that the government would not threaten the freedom of the people, and to take into consideration the rights of the minority as well as the majority, giving the people some control over the policies of the nation. Several distinct changes in our social culture have had on impact on American politics. From the nations beginning to the end of the nineteenth century events from our social and political culture have determined the way Americans’ live today.

In 1776 when United States gained their independence from the Europeans the American’s created the Articles of Confederation. Under the Articles, each state retained its “sovereignty, freedom, and independence”. The framers of this nation soon found weakness in the preceding system, and it failed to meet the intended goals of a strong defense and an integrated economy. The consequences of a weak government caused; public disorder, economic chaos, and inadequate defense. “Give me liberty or give me death!” this is what Patrick Henry (a leading figure in the American Revolution),said after learning of the plans to divide sovereignty between national and state governments. He was a firm believer of state- centered government, who strongly opposed a national government were the people would have power over the states government; federalism was created. The founding fathers ideas of government, power, and freedom were rooted from the European heritage of the first white settlers, expressed in the U.S. constitution. Other guarantees were added to constitution such as: the Bill of Rights, limited- government, separation of powers among the three branches of government.

In 1791 the...

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