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Essay title: Federalism


The United States Government is beloved to all Americans, in the simple fact that all men are created equal and all men are given equal opportunity, to aspire to achieve success and make their dreams come true. Although the percentage of people who achieve all of their goals in life is fairly small, they have the freedom to chase them and America for the most part is a pretty content place. The “law of the land” that sets the standards for our rights and privileges is the U.S. Constitution.

As pretty and proper as the U.S. Constitution sounds, there has always been and always will be some conflicts and concerns about different laws and amendments and even values that make a part of the sacred text of America. One of the major conflicts when writing the Constitution was power. They weren’t sure what to do with it, or how to handle it. America was so big with all different states a having all different values. America was not one, it was thirteen individual states who each wanted a piece of the power.

This is where the idea of Federalism comes into play. The definition of Federalism goes as follows; Federalism is the philosophy that power should be divided between the central powers and all its constituents. In other words the power of the United States should not all be in the hands of the national government, each state should have a say in the way that they want their own state to run. Every state wants to progress in a different way, and every state wants to progress at a different speed. However when problems get to large for a single state run government to handle, the national (federal) government will proceed to step in and set forth the necessary measures to control the situation.

The founding fathers were quite concerned when writing the Constitution about what the breakdown of power should be. They did not want the central government to hold too much power like it had in England, but they needed a federal government stronger than the Articles of Confederation to keep the states together.

When reading the Constitution you see many examples of compromises between the power of the federal government and the power of the states. There are limits set on for states, limits set on Congress, and even limits set on the power of the President. For instance the Constitution states that the President has the power to overrule almost any decision, or matter that has to do with the United States, both in internal matters and foreign relations. However with all the power that the President possesses there are also many limits set on him, including the length of time he is allowed to hold his job. However the President who runs the entire country, is appointed by the states.

This power and compromise is also included amongst the Congress. Each state appoints members of the legislature. Each state gets an equal numbers of electors in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The President is also required to take an oath before he takes over in office. “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, 1'protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Adams had the brilliant idea of Checks & Balances where he broke the government into three branches; the president, Congress, and the judiciary. Each of them had power but no one branch would be allowed to enjoy a monopoly of power. However when problems did occur each branch was allowed to put their two cents in and try to resolve whatever conflict that arose.

However there are times when the Constitution puts its foot down, and prohibits power of the states . A big example of this is Article 1, Section 10. It lists all powers prohibited of the states including, entering into treaties, imposts on imports and exports, or make any compacts with another state, or foreign power. Also in times of war if there is a draft, a drafted member must enter the service and fulfill his civil duty to the United States of America or he will be jailed, fined, and worst of all be labeled a draft dodger and coward.

In Federalist 10, Madison felt it was necessary to separate

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