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Federalism - Term Paper Example

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Federalism is a government system in which a nation or territory is organized in such a way that there is more than one level of government with official authority over the same people and area. Federalism is characterized by the division of power between a central (or federal) authority and the constituent (or devolved) political units…
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Federalism in the US has evolved in the course of the nation’s history from Dual Federalism between 1789 and 1945 after WWII, to Cooperative Federalism between 1945 and 1969 and finally New Federalism from 1969 to present (Robertson, 2012). However, there were also some changes to federalism between Dual Federalism and Cooperative Federalism, especially those occasioned by the 1861-1868 Civil War followed by the Fourteenth Amendment. Then industrialization and globalization that set in between 1865 and 1945, which culminated in the federal government taking over power from state governments when Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency made efforts to revive the economy after the Great Depression. The nation’s first 150 years were described by Dual Federalism, where the Constitution provided for state and national governments. The national government presided over national defense, fostering commerce and foreign policy. On the other hand, state governments dealt with criminal law, economic regulation and local issues. Each having a distinct area of jurisdiction, the two governments rarely overlapped. Cooperative Federalism marked the intertwining of state and federal authority, where it became difficult to demarcate the beginning and end of the authority of each type of government because they both administered numerous federal programs simultaneously. However, in order to finance their own programs and initiatives, states heavily relied on the federal government for funds. ... Read More
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