Prof. John Fitzgerald
Nov 17, 2010
But WHY? Why has the power of the federal government expanded so significantly? Was this shift in power from state governments to the federal government necessary?
Government power took a huge shifted from state government to federal government during and after the civil war. Although President Franklin D Roosevelt’s new deal is often considered the pivotal point that caused this shift, the major event attributing to this shift in power was the civil war. The first event that led to a growth in federal power was the ratification of the Constitution in 1789. Although the constitution is to protect the right of individuals and limit the power of government it led to more government power so that it can accomplish its goals. Eventually the Civil war established the federal government’s power over the states. After the civil war the Federal government had to enforce its power over the states to control issues such segregation, racism and regulating states powers over the rights of citizens. The government that was established to protect the rights of it citizens now had to look out for its economic welfare. Eventually this led the way for interest groups such as union veterans to tap into the federal treasury. The government now needed means to obtain funds for it limited treasury. Different commissions were developed to regulate aspects of the food industry, fuel, trade and eventually the entire economy. Some of these commissions include the FDA established in 1906, the Federal trade commission established in 1914 and the Federal Reserve establishes in 1913. Eventually in 1913 federal income tax was established providing a source of funds for the federal treasury. World War 1 led to future advancement of the Federal government’s power even further. The federal government now regulated waterway shipping, railways were nationalized, and the United States food administration now...