The U.S. Constitution establishes a government based on "federalism," or the sharing of power between the national, and state (and local) governments. Our power-sharing form of government is the opposite of "centralized" governments, such as those in England and France, under which national government maintains total power. While each of the 50 states has its own constitution, all provisions of state constitutions must comply with the U.S. Constitution. For example, a state constitution cannot deny accused criminals the right to a trial by jury, as assured by the U.S. Constitution's 6th Amendment. Under the U.S. Constitution, both the national and state governments are granted certain exclusive powers and share other powers.
Discussions of federalism generally focus on the vertical allocation of power between the national and state governments. Under the Constitution, powers reserved to the national government include: Print money (bills and coins), declare war, establish an army and navy, enter into treaties with foreign governments, regulate commerce between states and international trade, establish post offices and issue postage, make laws necessary to enforce the Constitution.
The horizontal allocation... [continues]
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