08/10/2014 Strayer University POL110 Week 6 Assignment 1: What Is Federalism?
Federalism is the type of government where there is segment of different powers between a state government and the central government. The United States is a federalist government where the states have their own individual powers and authority that they are able to exercise and the federal government has its own circle of authority that it tends to exercise. The evolution of Federalism in the United States was a gradual event that had definitions of federal government being given in federalist 46 and 28 which gave definitions of a federalist government to the United States. As stated by James Madison one of the architects of the federal kind of government, “the state and national governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers." The purpose of such a kind of government was to protect the rights of the people in all its earnestness. The evolution of the United States can be seen over a specific time period. Between 1970 and 1930 the form of government was known as layer cake federalism or dual federalism. There were clear powers divided between the states and the centre and there was sovereignty given in equal measure to both. Between the years 1930 and 1960 the structure was known as Cooperative federalism or marble cake federalism where the state and the central government shared functions and collaborated on issues of national importance and priorities. The 1960s to 1980s were known as picket fence federalism and was characterized by high and overloaded cooperation and regulations which were not only interfering between the powers of the centre and state but also cross cutting. From 1981 to the present time is known as the new federalism which is marked by devolution of power between the centre to the state governments but also state inability to cope with increasing issues and mandates. The concept of federalism has shaped American political behavior. The United States constitution played a very decisive role in shaping the federal government in the USA The very strict constitution helped the relaxation of powers of the state and central government as well as in defining civil liberties, beauracracy, democracy and civil liberties. As time passed and the constitution began being implemented, amendments to the constitution happened with political arguments and discourses. While deciding on how to share powers, the US constitution was the pivotal authority and guide. This made sure that the country was ruled by the power of law and not be the power of men .the US constitution became the centre of American politics which enshroud the aspects on enculturation. This gave political parties enough freedom to contest in politics and thereby was able to look at adult suffrage and civil liberties in the best of manners. Thus the state governments were able to enact law. The shaping of federalism was further see when amendments and reforms to changing scenarios were needed .people could voice their concerns over ideology and issues both at the centre and state levels. The US constitution ensures that there is consistency between the powers given to the states and centre. While the states could make laws, the federal government has to oversee that these laws were not conflicting with the federal government. Conflicts of interest could never happen and was guided by the constitution which was all powerful. The political parties could being in those reforms after being widely debated on a national political front and by the participation of political parties in governing the country. Political parties had a major role to play in shaping federalism. Illustrate how the relationship between the states and the U.S. federal government influences the creation of American policies overall While making constitutional reforms the voice and of people may be sought to ratify the constitution though popular vote .The federal government though the congress makes sure that there are special interest groups can also lobby for federal policy reforms. Though state governments have power only to their state affairs and rule and federal government on national interests it is seen that the powers of the state towards national interest are also defined by the constitution .the judiciary that is operative in the USA is a very good example of how the federal government works. The structure of the courts, decision making of the courts and the court of highest appeal including the precedent principle show the powers of the federal structure.
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