Assess the significance of federalism in the USA
Federalism involves the sharing of powers between different levels of government. In the United States this relates to the government at national level (the federal government) and those at the level of the state. The United Kingdom is not a federal state instead it is a unitary state where power is held in one place (parliament). Federalism is the process of sharing power between a central government, in America’s case Washington, and the States. The US Constitution dictates what areas the Federal Government have control of and the areas that the States have control of. Amendment 10 of the Bill of Rights dictates that any area that is not a power of Congress, President or Supreme Court it is up to the States to decide. Dissimilarly to the UK, Britain has adopted the unitary system which means that there is just one main body of government as opposed to powers being distributed across the nation. Over time, federalism has adapted and changed and the theory of New Federalism was introduced after Nixon’s and Reagan’s administration and was further mentioned under George W. Bush’s presidency. Some of the features of federalism include the different powers that are seen within the central and state governments. Within state governments it can be seen that issues on crime and punishment can vary between states as states are awarded the power to choose different policies on these issues. This is why some stats still adopt the death penalty and others have abolished it. At the central level of government it can be seen however that issues such as war, diplomacy and the powers of defence are issues that the central government must control as it can be seen that local governments will be unable to handle these major issues successfully. One of the most important powers which the States have control of, is the power to conduct elections in whichever way they see fit. An example of this would be that Iowa choose to elect...
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