• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is the USA still a federal state?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Neema Daniel 13AXS Is the USA still a federal state? Federalism, being the distribution of power between state and national governments, has evolved dramatically since its proliferation during the founding of the US constitution to the modern US political age. However this evolution has led to a changing relationship between state and federal governments resulting in the criticism that power today has significantly shifted to the national government. It is true that federalism, as envisaged by the Founding fathers, is quite different to the 21st Century federalism; however elements of the concept continue to prevail today. Regarded as one of the great compromises, federalism was incorporated by the founding fathers to fundamentally ensure that the distribution of political power would not result in the forming of a tyrannical, overbearing government, such being the potential attributes of the governments of a unitary state. Geographically federalism is suitable for the US political system as it would be illogical for a national (federal) government to significantly exercise power across a large landscape. The concept too also coincides well with the constitutional amendment process, featuring state ratification to validate an amendment. Federalism has significantly developed, undergoing a series of evolutionary phases from dual federalism during the time of Chief Justice John Marshall, cooperative federalism during the presidency of FDR and the growth of the new federalism movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. ...read more.

Middle

Firstly the law is a universal health care reform affecting all of America, secondly it requires that all are health care insured (and if unable to afford then payments for insurance can be subsidised) and that states introduce health care marketplaces for the prospective insured. A minority discontented group in the Republican Party, the Tea party, reflect the criticism against the measure, and such criticism culminated during the government shutdown in October 2013. Therefore Obama?s presidency can be identified as being dominant in the political system. However one must acknowledge the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives being a check on the president?s power and in terms of federalism that state governments have been able to shape aspects of Obama?s environmental policy. Consider California, regarded as the pioneer state in the development of environmental policy to reduce carbon emissions. States power is arguably insufficiently protected against what one may consider as an increasingly overbearing centralised policy. This may be the fault of the constitution by the 10th amendment does not specify the rights granted to the states. This contrasts with the necessary and proper clause of Article I enabling congress? sovereignty to preside over the states for the purpose of governance. Since the McCulloch and Maryland case, over the issue of a national bank, the interpretation paved way for later rulings upholding federal power over state power. ...read more.

Conclusion

Additionally the Morrison verses USA case in 2000, declared provisions of the Violence against Women Act Unconstitutional, because they exceeded the congressional power of the commerce clause and section 5 of the 14th amendment. More recently the Supreme Court has interpreted Congress? commerce powers in a more limited sense due to tenure of strict constructionist justices?. Thus it appears that the Supreme Court has taken heed of state sovereignty, and not always is the division of power resting in the federal governments favour. In conclusion the USA is still a federalist state, despite the dramatic changes that have occurred since the early days of the Constitution because when considering the exercise of federal government power, mainly this in response to dramatic events that require intervention to restore stability, like the collapse of the stock exchange in 2008 and 9/11. Federal government power, in comparison to state government power is exercised far less. State governments share the sovereignty of their national counterparts significantly when there is political and economic stability. Mainly during instability state dependency increases, thus the national government becomes bolder, hence the saying ?the federal governments did not create the states, but state governments created the federal government?. And so the divisions of power are not solely in the hands of the federal authority because periods of stability are more common than those of crises. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United States essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Are supreme court justices politicians in disguise?

    4 star(s)

    This security of tenure came from article 3 of the constitution where "The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour". In a modern liberal democracy such as that of the USA, all politicians by definition are publically elected.

  2. How and Why has federalism changes sice the 1960s

    The limits on his policies also show that Dual federalism may be too impractical to undertake.

  1. McCulloch v. Maryland and the Necessary and Proper Clause.

    They knew that they were probably missing some laws and that with the change of times new laws would be needed to carryout the Constitution. The necessary and proper clause gave Congress flexibility in doing their job of executing the Constitution by giving them the liberty of interpreting which laws

  2. How is Britain's constitution changing in the 21st century?

    On Europe-wide issues, members of the E.U. vote with either the use of the veto, or by using Qualified Majority Voting (QMV). As Britain is part of Europe, there are times when the further use of QMV is coming to challenge a further part of Britain's sovereignty, as Britain's choice is being usurped by a European majority.

  1. Constitutional Comparison

    constitution is known as codified, where the system is written and establishes the rules and principles that are set out and this single authoritative document comprising of seven articles totalling seven thousand words specifies the elements of the conduct of government.

  2. Ethnic minorities in the USA

    However local issues can have a big effect. Candidates, especially for President, have to secure the nomination of the party through a complicated system of primaries, caucuses and then conventions. In practice to succeed in American politics you need money. Presidential candidates spend million of dollars on their campaigns. Presentation and personality are often more important than policies.

  1. The Separation of Church and State in America.

    Although the United States is by no means an impoverished country, this statistic can be applied to areas of the country were many low-income families reside. The availability of birth control in these areas could assist in stimulating the economy, and allowing women in those areas a greater chance at success in their life.

  2. How far do you agree the USA remains a global hegemony today?

    This moral national identity has been strengthened by the relationship between an informed public and the federal government. With the arrival of modern communication (e.g. television news, newspapers, radio) the relationship between governmental action and public opinion has become closely linked.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work