May 10, 2011
Unitary vs. Federal Government
Our Founding Fathers had viewed centralized power as a threat to their rights and liberties. They had been under the Unitarian constraints of British authority. Dividing power between the three levels of government, federalism, was one of the solutions to this problem. Our founding fathers also recognized the potential danger for conflict between the three levels of government, so they instituted several ways to avoid it. Federalism is dynamic, and works well for the ever changing United States. This will be an examination as to what value Federalism has over Unitarianism and its impact on the United States government. In many parts of the world, a country was run by a Unitarian system of government – typically a one piece legislature and a King, where the King ruled and told the legislature what to do. Obviously, this is just what the Founding Fathers wanted to avoid. America did, in fact, run under a confederacy for a short time. The original founding document of the United States was The Articles of Confederation. Here are a couple reasons it never worked. First, the States and the Confederation Congress both incurred large debts during the Revolutionary War, and how to repay those debts became a major issue of debate following the War. Some States paid off their war debts and others did not. Secondly, there was failure to build strong military powers. The government could not draft soldiers and had to send requests for regular troops to the states. However, Congress had the right to order the production and purchase of such provisions for the soldiers, but could not force anyone to supply them. The founding fathers wanted to create a constitution because many believed that the national government had to be stronger than what it had been with the use of the Articles of Confederation. At the same time they were fearful of human nature and for people in the position of...
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