What is Federalism?
Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units. (The American Heritage Dictionary, 2005). The system is divided into levels: the national government, regional and local governments. Each of these levels has areas in which they have power. The levels however, by themselves cannot change the power that the constitution has given them. Each level operates through its own agencies and acts directly on the people through its own officials and laws. Overview of the Federalists
The Federalists favored a strong central government, policies were favorable to trade, finance and business. The Federalists were also in favor of national bank and favored ratification of the Constitution. The first Federalist movement was distinguished by a belief that the national government under the Articles of Confederation was too weak and that a stronger federal government was needed. The Federalists were able to get the national government to sanction a convention to mend the Articles. Nelson and Lynn state, “Federalism enables positive cooperation between state and national governments in programs pertaining to education, interstate highway construction, environmental protection and health, unemployment and social security concerns.”
Overview of the Anti-federalists
The first Anti-federalist movement of the 18th century was against The Anti-federalists in the 1780's opposed the creation of a stronger national government under the Constitution. There were different reasons for this opposition; they believed that a stronger government would threaten the sovereignty of the states and individuals. In addition, the Anti-federalist believed that the existing government was sufficient and getting a national government under the constitution would be too strong. The Anti-federalists believed in free trade, a government controlled by ordinary citizens, policies that were favorable to...
References: Bernstein, Richard B. (2008). Ratification of the Constitution. Retrieved March 13, 2008 from http://www.answers.com/topic/ratification-of-the-constitution
Drake, Frederick D. - Nelson, Lynn R. (2002). Teaching about Federalism in the United States. Retrieved March 14, 2008 from http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-1/usa.htm
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (2005) Retrieved 13, 2008 from http://www.ask.com/reference/dictionary/ahdict/38776/federalism
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