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Stages Of Liberalism And Federalism

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Political Science 155 Essay Question There are various stages to both liberalism and federalism. Liberalism is an ideology that stresses the rights individuals have and is the most prominent belief system in the United States. Dr. Guevara explains in her first lecture that the liberalism ideology has four stages, each underscoring the common concerns and agendas of their times. First is Classical Liberalism, most known for being heavily influenced by thinkers of the Enlightenment such as John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The founding fathers, concerned with their civil liberties, posed the question of “How do you frame a government that will protect your life, liberty and property?” which they answered with: limited…show more content…
Federalism has been around for nearly as long as liberalism, existing in two main, functioning forms. Federalism is the division of people’s sovereignty between different levels of government. Federalism in the United States has existed as either dual or cooperative, both defining the different levels of involvement between the levels of government. Dual Federalism, as defined by Scott F. Abernathy in American Government: Stories of a Nation, “[divides] the people’s sovereignty between the nation and the states – they [are] coequals in power, each able to check the power and growth of the other.” This model of federalism was the first used by the U.S. and was seen to be heavily connected with Classical Liberalism due to the nation’s original, disconnected roots, which would come to change during the New Deal Liberalism period. On the contrary side, cooperative federalism is a system in which “both levels work together in the same areas of public policy.” (Abernathy) Rather than working separately yet equally, the national and state governments both use the powers they have in order to work towards a common goal, typically seen in times of crisis as states can’t handle the situations on their own and reach out and work with the national government in order to heal. My thesis is that liberalism and federalism overlap whenever one part of government attempts
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