The Constitution of the United States is the central part of America’s government. For 200 years it has guided the evolution of governmental foundation and has provided the basis for political stability, citizens’ freedom, economic growth, and social progress. The states and central government have had problems but still have compromised to keep their relationship strong. The Framers of the Constitution created a federal system with a national government strong enough to unify the states in their pursuit of common goals. The central government shares powers and responsibilities declaring it a federalist country.
Without federalism, Americans would be under a democracy and there wouldn’t be any freedom. As a result, Americans are free to move from place to place, make their own decisions, choose their religion, and political beliefs; they go to the courts for justice and protection when they feel these rights are being infringed upon. Federalism is one of the most important things in the Constitution today. Federalism was created to grant both the state and central government equal amount of power. Dividing power between each government is to help it from being abused or taken advantage of. Both wanted all the power in the end both governments agreed to the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States. It created a “firm league of friendship” among the states, along with a legislature of very limited powers. The only problem was a weak central government.
On May 25, 1787, delegates quickly began to consider an entirely new form of government, federalism, which shared power between the states and a more sturdy central government with truly national powers changing the relationship among the states and created a new national government, abandoning the Articles of Confederation. This new government had executive and judicial powers, along with expanded legislative authority. Federalism is always going to change.
A federal government exists to help keep the country from becoming a dictatorship. Federalism is the most valuable concept in the United States. Federalism has its share of advantages and disadvantages. “Federalism works” said Kevin Price (2015) from the Huffpost. Federal government is separated into three branches, serves as a means to make sure that all power is not centralized into a single person or group of people.
By not centralizing all power into the hands of a national government, but sharing that power with state governments, which will help citizen participation, our founders increased a citizen’s ability to effect their government, government policy, and lawmaking. “Federalism always has been one of the most significant features of the American constitutional system.” says William Pound (2017)of NCSL. The closer a local government is to its citizens, the more likely it is the respond to the needs of citizens. States are more likely to listen to citizen needs, and respond to them, than the national government would be. Having local government means states can solve their own problems without having the central overrun with small problems.
Congress and the federal executive branch have often ignored state concerns and enacted laws and rules that prevent state from making their own laws and decisions. Our federalist form of government has several advantages, such as protecting us from tyranny, dispersing power, increasing citizen participation. Federalism is the most functional system in the government. Another advantage to federalism is the division of power between the national government and state governments, and spreading the national government’s power among three branches that serve as a check and balance on each other. Helping keep the country from becoming a dictatorship by separating the government into three branches to diffuse the chances of tyranny.
By having the power spread out keep the national government to achieve and have stability. In much of America’s own history, federalism did not ease this country’s tensions. Still having many disadvantages such as states having their own healthcare options, funding the government and still having the fear of the government becoming a dictatorship. The federal government is very expensive, because people are elected not only on a national level, but also on a state level, often more than necessary. Federal funds to expand Medicaid have driven increases in overall state spending.
In fact, the only category of state spending that has increased as a percentage of the total in the past 10 years is Medicaid. It currently accounts for 29 percent of state budgets and grows every year. As the federal debt grows, the search for ways to reduce spending or establish new revenue sources will increase. “If states are to be the laboratories of democracy, they need the freedom, power and flexibility to innovate, create and adapt policies that best meet the needs of their citizens.
“William T. Pound is executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures. State and Central government will always have a high expense rate. It will always be hard to find the right balance of power on certain issues. Federalism placed an emphasis on the role of local government. It also marked a major expansion of national involvement in social programs and as civil rights protection. Medicaid has been a major driver of total government spending.
Ten billion dollars will go to the states for Medicaid assistance and $10 billion in federal aid to state and local governments. Today we have a much bigger, stronger, and involved federal government unlike 200 years ago. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
The United States is considered a Union of states, each states government and central government granted with their own powers.The Framers of the United States Constitution launched not only a nation but also an ongoing debate involving questions of the proper role of the national government in relation to that of the states.