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Assess the significance of federalism in the U.S.A

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´╗┐Assess the significance of federalism in the U.S.A Federalism, and all it stands for, underpins politics in America. The basic principle of American federalism is fixed in the Tenth Amendment (ratified in 1791) to the Constitution which states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Federalism gives the executive its power but it also gives states a great deal of power as has been clarified in Dillon's Law. On many occasions, the Supreme Court has been called on to adjudicate what federalism means (usually in favour of the executive rather than states) ...read more.


Likewise, state and local officials are closer to the problems of their areas, so it makes sense for them to choose policies to solve those problems. This means that federalism allows for significantly more representation of the populace in politics and representation is a major part of us politics as the slogan of anti-colonists states ?no taxation without representation.? Even more so federalism creates laboratories of democracy: State governments can experiment with policies, and other states (and the federal government) can learn from their successes and failures. For example California has frequently led the nation in environmental regulations: Many measures adopted by California are subsequently adopted by other states. This is significant as federalism allows for policies to be tested on a small scale before being implemented at a national level. ...read more.


Even more so it can be argued that federalism is insignificant as it cannot function well due to ignorance. Most Americans know little about their state and local governments, and turnout in state and local elections are often less than 25 percent. Citizens consequently often ignore state and local governments, even though these governments have a lot of power to affect people?s lives and as such federalism is insignificant to the U.S citizen?s life. In conclusion federalism is ultimately significant as it allows the anti-federalists and federalists alike are allowed to find a middle ground in federalism as it prevents the centralisation of power and the tyranny of government whilst still allowing a federal government to hold ultimate power and create a singular vision and direction in American policy. ...read more.

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