Political Science Homework Help

How the States and Federal Government Power-Sharing has Endured for more than 250 Years

How the States and Federal Government Power-Sharing has Endured for more than 250 Years

The state and the federal governments have enjoyed a long term healthy relationship since their inception over 250 years ago. The framers of the United States Constitution saw it worth to develop a constitution that preserves the independence and interdependence of the states and federal governments. The constitution had to be ratified by the nine special state conventions as provided by the Article VII of the Constitution.

 During the ratification of the constitution, there were two factions (the Anti-federalists and the Federalist) that had an opposing opinion about the nature of the constitution. The anti-federalist was against the ratification of the constitution for proposing a federalist government that would have power over states. The anti-federalist was concerned about losing their state power to a new system of governance. The anti-federalist wanted sovereign and independent state governments. The anti-federalist was concerned that the federal system would throw the Union into a new form of untested governance. They wanted the state governments to maintain the virtues of local rule and centralised control with an autocratic sovereign. They dreaded that the commander would have too much influence and that the Legislature would be noble in nature.

On the other hand, there were the federalists who included wealthy merchants who wanted a government that could unite all the states into a single, large nation. According to the Federalists, unification of the states would foster increased commercial growth in the future, as the economy would move from agriculturally based to industrialisation. In the long run, the federal government was adopted as provided by the constitution in 1787. The constitution established a framework that would define the association between the centralized and the state administrations. The Constitution delegated the federal government with certain enumerated powers while the states were conferred all the other powers not prohibited by the Constitution (National Government Association). Therefore, the constitution has been at the centre of long-term power sharing arrangement between the state and the federal government. The constitution outlines clear sharing of power between the U.S federal government and the individual state governments (Longley). Each state has its Constitution, but the provisions must comply with the U.S. Constitution (Longley). The Constitution describes the powers that exclusively belong to the state and the central government or are shared by both. Mostly the Constitution grants the national administration the authority to deal with matters of national importance while the state governments deal with local state issues (Longley).

The three level government that include the legislative, judiciary, and executive have helped in maintaining a healthy power-sharing arrangement between the federal and the state government (National Government Association). The three branches provide checks and balances to ensure that there is no misuse of power by the federal government. The judiciary has assisted in solving most of the disputes pitting the federal and the state governments through interpretation of the laws (National Government Association). That has helped America to remain united in the face of various tensions between the two levels of government.

America is revered worldwide as a nation with laws and values that respect humanity and ethnic diversity. There are important core values that define American in the world. The American political culture is one of the most respected in the world. The culture establishes a level ground that foster equal opportunity for all to thrive. Everyone is treated equally in the political sphere and has the same status under the law. Therefore, everyone as the responsibility to respect the law regardless of race, gender, social status, colour or any other identity. Liberty is valued in the United States of America. Everyone has the freedom to do what he/she given that it does not contravene the constitution and freedom of other people. The state and the federal government do not impose restrictions that restrain the citizens from enjoying their freedom. The bill of right guarantees the citizens their liberty and rights. Economic and political liberty is enhanced through progressive laws that enhance development at all levels. For recognition of the rights and the needs of its citizens, America is one of the most democratic nations in the world. Democracy has been enhanced through the American political culture where equal representation, equal rights, and freedom are allowed to thrive. Moreover, America has trying to foster democracy in other countries through its foreign policies. Popular sovereignty has been permitted to thrive in the US of America. The majority rule is another aspect that reflects the democratic nature of the American political culture. The will of the majority is allowed to thrive nut the rights of the minority are protected and preserved. America is also renowned for its respect for diversity and multiculturalism. 

The various achievements made by the United States of America have been as a result of constant evolution in the federal and state governments in a bid to live up to the new demands that had not been addressed during ratification of the Constitution. The constant evolution has significantly affected the power-sharing arrangements between the federal and the state government. Most of the changes have taken place in the form of amendments to the constitution under the Article VI of the Constitution. Since the Constitution was ratified, it is only 27 amendments that have been enacted (Longley). Most of the amendments were geared towards defusing ambiguity in the application in power sharing between two levels of government. However, some amendments to the constitution have intensified tension between the federal and state governments.

Some of the Acts passed by the federal government have prodded the independence of the state government. For instance, in 1964 the Supreme Court overturned adoption of Proposition 14 in California for its failure to recognise the fair housing laws. Provision 14 was accused of contravening with the Equal Protection Act of the Fourteenth Amendment by allowing racial discrimination in the home sale. The other recent tension is on the use of marijuana at the state and the federal level. The federal government has illegalized use of marijuana through the Controlled Substance Act while some states like California have legalised the use of the drug for medical purpose. That creates a tension in the implementation of the overarching federal laws and state laws. The Affordable Care Act (Medicaid) is another issue of contention between the federal and the state governments. The federal government with the aim of providing affordable healthcare to all citizens adopted the Act. However, 27 states were against the move, and they adopted their health insurance different from the one proposed by the Medicaid (Samad).

Despite several issues of contention, the state and the federal governments have co-existed for two and half centuries. The long-term co-existence has been fostered by the need to respect the constitution and to work seamlessly towards achieving the goals of the nation. The continued relationships should be enhanced to ensure that competing interests of the federal and state governments do not shatter the dreams of the American citizens.

Works Cited

Longley, Robert. “Federalism: A Government System of Shared Powers: Exclusive and Shared Powers Granted by the Constitution.” Thought Co, 07 March 2017, Accessed 17 March 2017.

National Government Association. “The Principles For-State-Federal Relations .” National Governors Association, 30 May 2016, Accessed 17 March 2006.

Samad, Jewel. “State Resistance goes Back to the USA’s Begining.” USA Today News, 22 Aug. 2013, /. Accessed 17 March 2006.

Order Now