Federal Power Vs. Federal Government

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“What light is to eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man,” Robert Green Ingersoll once said. The United States was born out of a fight for liberty, and Americans continue to fight for those very rights today. Part of this fight is the constant power struggle between the States and Federal Government. Federal power evolved throughout history and has acquired many different shapes. Ultimately, the goal is to properly distribute powers between the Government and the States (Dautrich & Yalof, 2013). The Constitution elucidates who holds what powers to balance their distribution. This power distribution is separated into three categories: enumerated powers that grant Congress powers to act on…show more content…
The 10th amendment protected the right of the States. The time between 1789 and 1801 is also known as the Federalist Period. During this time leaders, such as John Adams, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton, thought there should be a strong Federal Government, as opposed to the Anti-Federalists, with leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, who were in favor of state centered Government (Boyd, 1997). In 1792 Thomas Jefferson opposed the creation of a National Bank, but do in large part to Alexander Hamilton, Congress voted in favor, establishing the first National Bank with a 20 year charter. In 1811 James Maddison refused to re-charter the bank, stating that Congress overstepped their bounds, because the Constitution did not give Congress the right to approve a National Bank (Dautrich & Yalof, 2013). After the war of 1812, however, the Democratic-Republicans and Maddison humbly supported the charter of the second National Bank due to the lack of hindered financial resources. In 1815, the Hartford Convention drafted the States’ Rights Doctrine to protect states’ rights. This doctrine advised that states protect themselves from Congress against acts that are unconstitutional (Boyd, 1997). National Supremacy Period (1819-1837) Throughout the National Supremacy Period the Federal Government held primary powers. During this time John Marshall, chief justice of Supreme Court, interpreted the National Supremacy
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