Intergovernmental Relations

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In Partial Fulfillment of the Course for:

Public Administration
(PA-101-02) Fall 2010

A Critique of: Introducing Public Administration 7th Edition

Chapter 4: Intergovernmental Relations

Presented to: Adjunct Instructor William W. Johnson, Sr.

By: Francis Christopher Cincotti

Introducing Chapter 4, the author explains how federalism is a fundamental part of U.S government and how it gives equal power to both national and state governments. “History indicates clearly that the principal factor in the formation of federal systems of government has been a common external threat.” The authors’ quote informs the reader that people have always been weary of a strong, national government and that there is always a constant struggle between the two governments to work together. Defining a government to be a federal system of government includes many variables from having two separate governmental powers to having constitutional distribution of responsibilities. With a federal system of government, the public administrators need to walk a fine line between equaling the powers of national and state governments. With a federal system of government, it allows for the people to have the best of having a strong national government and having individual state rights. As the chapter opens, the author explains how federal government originated from alliances and coalitions. An alliance allowed different groups to come together to one common purpose while a confederation gave limited powers to a central government. Each system allowed for advantages of the states working together, but each state continued to act as its own country. The Articles of Confederation allowed for the states to respond to a central government, providing some central base for a national government. However, the Articles allowed the states to remain largely independent from one another. “Without federalism, the author explains, the United States would continue to lack the legitimacy of...
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