United States Constitution and Twentieth Century Federalism

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Federalism is the form of government in the united states where separate states are united under one central authority but with specific powers granted to both components in a written constitution .Patrick Henry coined the word in 1788 when, during the Virginia ratification convention debates over the proposed U.S Constitution ,he angrily asked, "Is this federalism?.'' In 1787 the constitution replaced it with another, more balanced, version that has worked for over two centuries. During the time, however the history of federalism has been incessantly disrupted by a constant debate between those who wanted to enlarge the central government and those who demanded that states' rights be strictly respected and even expanded.

During Reconstruction the war argument over the use of federal power erupted in violence against newly enfranchised blacks and Republican government in the South .In the late nineteenth century the federal government retreated from its temporary expansion of power in saving the Union and trying to remake the South. Whether in tolerating state created racial segregation or striking down federal efforts to regulate the new industrial order, the federal courts limited federal authority in many areas of public life. At the beginning of the twentieth century progressive reformers wanted to enlarge the role of the federal government and solve glaring economic and social problems. With mixed success they sought federal legislation to regulate the workplace, protect labor unions, and promote "moral improvement." During the 1930s the new deal redefined federalism and saved the economy by recognizing federal responsibility over many areas of public and private activity that previously had been unregulated or solely the purview of the states, Including banking, the stock exchanges, and the workplace. In the last half of the twentieth century federalism was the central issue in both black and women's civil rights. It...
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