Federal v. State Power
Topics: United States Constitution, United States Congress, Federal government of the United States / Pages: 6 (1413 words) / Published: Mar 1st, 2014

As citizens of the United States we exist under a federal system of government. There are different levels of the system, each cooperating with the next and each having some form of formal authority over the people. The age long argument has been: “more state power is most effective – no, more federal power is most effective”. There are also those who believe that an equal cooperation between both state and federal governments, our current way of separating power, is the most effective. So where should the line be drawn and which is most effective? The Constitution gave us a basic outline for how we should run our government. The bottom line is cooperative federalism – powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government and they may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work poorly (Edwards 81). The idea of cooperative federalism has raised an important question: Where do the boundaries of national government end and where do the boundaries of state governments begin? The tenth amendment has somewhat of an answer to where the state boundaries begin. It says that if a state is not given a power directly by the constitution but is not prohibited from using that power then it is the state’s right to use and regulate that power. As for the boundaries of the national government, the supreme court case of McCulloch v. Maryland gives a good example. In 1791 the government established a national bank. This bank could print money and make loans as well as a number of other banking responsibilities. Many people who believed that the government should have a limited amount of control over the economy were opposed to the idea of a national bank. Eventually the government stopped funding the bank, but not long after came the second national bank. Out of defiance to the bank, the state of Maryland passed a law taxing the Baltimore branch $15,000 a year which it refused to pay. Maryland decided to sue the branch’s

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