I have no idea what my grade was, just that I had to do this assignment and use all these different vocabulary words from our textbook in it.
Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and more localized governments such as states. The rules for United States Federalism were established as a part of the Constitution, with different Constitutional articles making clear which powers go to what branch of government, as well as what is a state power and what is a national power. These checks and balances help to make the United States government an effective federal system.
The United States Constitutional Articles defines which powers are given to the states, and which are given to the national government in a few different ways. Expressed powers are the powers written down word for word in the constitution. Reserved powers are those that are those which are reserved for the states, or the people, the tenth amendment of the constitution writes specifically what this would be. Implied powers are those that are given to the national government that the constitution does not specifically give them, but seems to imply. Concurrent powers are those that both the states and the national government retain. With these rules set in place by the U.S. Constitutional Articles, that states and the national government are easily able to coexist and have interdependence between each other.
The United States has many methods of cooperative federalism, such as tariffs, use of public lands, currency, foreign policy, and immigration law. These different things help to keep the United States functioning as one large national government. Interstate compacts are an agreement between two or more states without congress being involved; an example of this would be the Colorado River Compact. The Full Faith and Credit Clause come from article four of the U.S. constitution and advise the states to respect public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of all other states. Judicial proceedings goes along with extradition, which means that a criminal is charged in which ever state he committed a crime, not the one he was caught in. Privileges and Immunities clause states that “no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States…”. These different clauses and laws help to keep the states uniform, and continue to get along, without them the states would be fighting over which laws they had to follow, and citizens of the United States could not easily move from place to place.
Federalism, even with the most well planned design can be challenging. States are not always going to agree on what is right and what is not. More liberal states such as California will not agree with conservative states such as Texas, and may not want to uphold their convections of criminals and turn them over to that state. They may not agree with the national government at times either, with things like health care and immigration, both of which are concurrent powers. Federalism can also create a lot of unneeded bureaucracy that more nationalized governments would not have.
Overall though Federalism is an effective system for the United States. Because the country is so diverse and spread out geographically there needs to be more localized powers like the states. An issue that affects Oregon would not be one that affects New York, so giving the states some power allows them to solve issues. Having a powerful national government though is also a strong point because it gives the United States leverage in things like forgein policy that it would not have if it were fifty individual states.