Federalism Essay

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Federalism The term "federalism" describes the changing relationship between the national and state governments as they sort out their roles and responsibilities within the federal system. America has a decentralized government; there is no single source of power or center of government. Federalism goes well with pluralism, because of the multiple centers of power that exist in the government, and also the many divisions of power. There are several levels of government including the federal government, the 50 states, county and city governments and independent school districts. However, the major players are the national and state governments. The tensions between the two are clear when it comes to civil rights, money, and power.…show more content…
The seventeenth amendment, while making the legislators directly answerable to voters, also had the effect of diminishing their roles as representatives of their individual states since they now answered to the general public rather than to the state legislatures, hurting state freedoms. The Eleventh Amendment denied Congress the authority to make states subject to lawsuits in federal courts. Power seesawed between the two levels of government over time. Was this the founders’ intention? During their time, fear of “big government” and of anarchy induced self destruction plagued the conventions. The anti federalists were afraid of tyranny and the federalists worried that the country would collapse without guidance. Federalism changes according to the country's needs and it is the brevity of the constitution allows this flexibility. It was never merely a set of static institutional arrangements, frozen in time by the Constitution. It is an adaptable process that has economic, administrative, and political aspects as well as constitutional ones. It evolved from dual to cooperative to new federalism. From the approval of the Constitution to the New Deal was a period where the national government was limited to promoting commerce. It was the state governments that dealt with governing citizens. The framers expected that the states would be the principal policymakers in the federal system, so most domestic policy
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