Federalism in the United States has evolved quite a bit since it was first implemented in 1787. Two major kinds of federalism have dominated political theory. There is dual federalism, in which the federal and the state governments are co-equals. Under this theory, there is a very large group of powers belonging to the states, and the federal government is limited to only those powers explicitly listed in the Constitution. As such, the federal government has jurisdiction only to the extent of powers mentioned in the constitution.
Under the second theory of federalism known as cooperative federalism, the national, state, and local governments interact cooperatively and collectively to solve common problems. Cooperative federalism asserts that the national government is supreme over the states.
Regardless of the kind of federalism, the Constitution does provide some very specific powers to both the states and the federal government. They are:
Delegated Powers – Delegated powers are those powers specifically assigned to the Federal Government. The national government has very specific enumerated powers including the regulation of interstate and international trade, coinage and currency, war, maintenance of armed forces, postal system, enforcement copyrights and power to enter into treaties. Reserved Powers – In this case, all powers not specifically delegated to the Federal Government are to be reserved or saved for the State Governments. These powers include power to establish schools, establishment of local governments, and police powers. Concurrent Powers – Concurrent means “at the same time.” Concurrent powers are those that both the federal and state governments share simultaneously, for example the power to tax, maintain courts and the ability to construct and maintain roads. Implied Powers – These are powers that are NOT specifically delegated in the Constitution, but are understood to be necessary or allowed. The “necessary and proper clause” of the Constitution state that Congress has the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers” (art. I, sec. 8 of the US Constitution) Non Unique – Federalism Low – Recessions
The economic recession has created a centralizing effect on US government “The State of American Federalism 2008–2009: The Presidential Election, the Economic Downturn, and the Consequences for Federalism” The most consequential developments for American federalism in 2008–2009 were the presidential election and economic recession. After several years when states were the primary innovators on many issues that topped the policy agenda, the economic downturn drew renewed attention to federal policy-making, given the greater resources and capacities of the federal government. Although federalism was not a dominant issue in the presidential campaign, Barack Obama's election and sizable Democratic congressional gains had important implications for federal-state relations by putting federal power in the service of a different set of policy goals, encouraging state experimentation on a different set of policy issues, and producing a greater willingness to respond to state pleas for financial assistance. The two most consequential developments for American federalism in 2008–2009 were the presidential election and a severe economic recession that began in late 2007 and is expected to last well into 2009. The recession had a clear and predictable centralizing effect. As is generally the case during wars and economic downturns, the public looked primarily to the federal government, with its greater resources and capacities, to ameliorate the economic hardships and prevent the situation from worsening. Federal officials from both parties responded, albeit with varying degrees of enthusiasm, by issuing tax rebates, rescuing banks, mortgage lenders, and auto-makers, and proposing increased federal regulation of various financial...