‘Federal government increasingly dominates state governments in the USA.’ Discuss
The United States of America have a federal constitution, where the President of the United States, Congress, and the judiciary share powers, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments. This is the stark opposite to the unitary system in the UK where sovereignty lies in parliament and some powers are given to local assemblies. There are many types of federalism; all have been a dominant influence in the American political system at some point due to the style of leadership brought in by each new presidential candidate. Throughout U.S. history, the division of power between the federal government and state governments has been the subject of continuous political interest. After suffering from the British government's tyrannical ideologies that led to the American Revolution (1775), many Americans were conditioned to distrust centralized governmental powers. As a result, when Congress drew up the Articles of Confederation in 1781, the new central government was assigned very few powers. The central government had little authority over taxation, court systems and commerce. The states were essentially politically independent governments, each free to regulate commerce in whatever ever way they wanted, make money, and have their state courts hold judgment over national laws mostly entrenched in the US constitution. In 1787 a Constitutional Convention was called to restructure the government and create a national economy. This convention was called as many Americans realized after the American Revolution, that such an unorganized governmental structure entirely based on state powers would hold back political and economic growth of America as a country. Debates were rife between federalists, those supporting a strong central government as proposed in a Virginia plan, and anti-federalists supporting continued strong state...
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