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What Is Federalism Essay

1190 words - 5 pages

What is Federalism?

Jennifer Siminski
Professor El-Yacoubi
POL 110
5 November 2013

In the beginning federalism was brought up by the framers. They wanted it to be a way of organizing the nation so that two or more ways of government can have a type of authority over the same people. The power is shared between the units of government. Federalism has held much tension over who should control policies, individual states or national government as a whole. To the framers, federalism was important in the design of the constitution. Federalism would foster custom-made laws that would fit the special needs of particular communities; they would do this by ensuring that all the ...view middle of the document...

There are cooperative federalism programs that make varying degrees of complicated combinations of state and federal authority.
The concept of federalism has shaped American political behavior throughout the centuries a little at a time. Federalism has decentralized our politics in more ways than one. One example is that senators are elected to represent their states rather than to represent our nation. Not only does federalism decentralize our politics but it also decentralizes our policies. Though federalism may decentralize some things it actually enhances the judicial power. Because these two are beginning to overlap most the debates over policy are actually debates over federalism. So when the states are debating over small policies such as social, family, and/or moral issues; they get brought up to the national government and become national issues. Another factor that is shaping political behavior is the fact of human fallibility, which helps us calculate the consequences of our social policies by giving us evidence other than our intuitions. To add another factor we have to look back to the beginning of federalism with one of the framers, James Madison, he wanted to split the state and central authority and he knew it would be difficult. But because he had done so, the political behavior changed, we now had a different set of eyes to look at federalism with, therefore our behaviors changed. One’s behavior towards something changes when a new idea is brought forward, and back then people thought federalism as essential to the maintenance of political liberty by the encouragement of self-government. Today people don’t think that way, because of all the things that have happened in the United States, there are so many things that have changed federalism over the years as stated in paragraph one.
In the beginning of everything the states mattered. The states came before the constitution and every man who wrote it were delegates form a state. The constitution was drafted with the states in mind; they wanted the states to continue to matter. But over the years states started to fall behind the national government. If there is a political issue the states cannot overrule the national government. Initially the states had reserved powers that were once guaranteed by the tenth amendment. But those so called reserved powers have been taken by the national government and nationalized by their enumerated powers and the Supreme Court. One huge controversy that has influences the national...

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