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Dual vs Cooperative Federalism

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Dual vs Cooperative Federalism

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Curtis Pittman
Dr. Peter Carlson
Government 101
9/19/2012
Federalism, as defined by The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “the distribution of power in an organization (as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units”. A more basic definition of federalism is the sharing of power between the national government and the State government. The Federalist Party is thought to have been started by Alexander Hamilton in an attempt to form a strong central government. Today, there have been two types of federalism, dual and cooperative. Dual Federalism was the first of the two and it lasted about one hundred and fifty years ranging from the 1780’s to the 1930’s. Cooperative Federalism then began in the 1930’s and lasted until the 1970’s. I feel as if dual federalism was good for its time period but I believe it would cause harm in today’s society.

According to Barbour and Wright (2012) the definition of dual federalism is the federal system under which the national and state governments are responsible for separate policy areas. In the textbook, dual federalism is referred to as being a “layer cake”. This analogy is intended to give an idea of the separation of the national and state governments. Each government is its own and “carries out its functions independently” (Barbour & Wright, 2012, p. 112). According to Levi Clancy (2012), there are three key parts that make up dual federalism: I. The government rules only by enumerated powers.

II. The national government has a restricted set of constitutional purposes. III. Each government is independent inside its own domain. The basic idea of dual federalism is that the national and state governments are their own decision makers and are sovereign from each other.

Cooperative federalism is the federal system under which the national and state governments share responsibilities for most domestic policy areas (Barbour & Wright, 2012, p. 112). This system is known as “marble...