The United States And National Government

1621 Words May 4th, 2015 7 Pages
The United States has a federal system of government where the states and national government exercise separate powers within their own spheres of authority. Federalism is a system of government where power is controlled by two levels of government, generally national and state. National government mainly deal with issues that affect the entire country, while state deal with smaller issues on a local level. James Madison says that the states and national government "are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers." Alexander Hamilton, suggested that both levels of government would exercise authority to the citizens ' benefit: "If their the people 's rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress." James Madison and Alexander Hamilton had two different ideas about how the national government should work in practice.
There are three general understandings of Federalism, they are state-sovereignty, states ' rights, and nationalism. State sovereignty means that the federal government is merely an agent of the states, while states retain final authority over all their internal matters, even if that results in states ignoring federal law.1 States ' rights proponents argue that state and federal governments have dual sovereignty, holding power over different realms. By contrast, according to Nationalists, the federal government can exercise its delegated powers even in areas that fall within…
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