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

What are the advantages and disadvantages of federalism in the USA?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What are the advantages and disadvantages of federalism in the USA? In 1787, after long consideration, federalism was chosen as the most suitable and attractive political system for USA. It is possible, that the decision to select federalism as the only preference is simply, because of lack of possible alternatives. It can be argued that individuality of each state forming Articles of Confederation and its "widespread loyalty to state government"1 rejected the full adoption of unitary system. Federalism was a perfect option for the founders, who "desired national unity"2 and what is significant, "demanded local representation and authority as well."3 Over the years there has much debate as to whether federalism is the right political system in USA. Additional deliberation proved that federal system is far from being perfect. Although it has many significant advantages over the unitary state system it is important, nevertheless, to emphasise its disadvantages. One of the most important advantages of US federal system is its distribution of power amongst the states. It has its origin in the formation of Articles of Confederation and the concern of the Founders that unitary system with strong central government would be a threat to the freedom. USA was too big and too diverse in terms of culture and development to place such a power in a central government, which could simply sympathise some states and ignore interests of others. ...read more.

Middle

Each district within the state provides services for its citizens e.g. leisure places, water and waste management, or things like public safety and public place maintenance. These all things factors make the work of government much more efficient. Another important advantage of the federalism is that public can contribute to its state and local policy. With approximately one million elective offices nationwide people have "multiple points of access"9 to participate in the political changes. Citizens can take part in various volunteer commissions that report to elected lawmakers or join various groups which can address lawmakers at their meetings and therefore influence the decision within the government and city. Federalist government of USA is also known for its encouragement of innovation in terms of improvement of political system. "There are approximately 88,000 state and local governments in the USA"10 commonly known as "laboratories of democracy."11 The name emphasises their ability of quick problem solving, as well as developing new strategies and ideas in order to improve the political system, services and therefore quality of life. One of the most famous cases of that unconventional law enforcement is "Community Policing"12 which was introduced in New York in the 1980s. This scheme was designed to combine both civil and police forces in order to reduce crime rate within neighbourhoods and, what is important, improve the relationship between people and police. ...read more.

Conclusion

Laws in terms of capital murder,17 for example, are similar throughout the country; child support guidelines laws,18 on the other hand, differ with each state which might be discriminating to some of the citizens of USA. Finally, because of the equal distribution of power among the states there is much greater chance of a bureaucracy to accrue with many more people involved in the decision-making process. That might affect two major parts of government- decision making and problem solving. Because of such a number of governments within a single country, it is very difficult to improve government services and solve a given problem in an efficient and quick way. This can create problems when attempting to develop nationwide responses. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina can be a great example if discussing that issue. Because of the lack of cooperation and quick decision making of the federal government and authorities responsible for New Orleans district, many problems accrued which, unfortunately, cost many lifes of innocent citizens. Although the federal system has many disadvantages as well as advantages, it remains an ideal political system within USA. It is partly because of the diversity throughout the whole country and partly due to the great desire of freedom and independence which, one can argue, became an unarguable gospel of the whole nation. Although many Americans disagree on the distribution of the power amongst the local and national governments, federal system of USA remains as flexible as it was when adopted and described in 1787 by the Founding Fathers in an Articles of Confederation. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. The advantages of the Uk having a constitutional monarchy are greater than the disadvantages. ...

    Meanwhile, monarchy takes part in many charitable activities. According to the report: 'The Queen and other members of the Royal Family have close associations with a wide range of charitable organisations covering many areas of national life. As patrons of over 3,200 charities, the Royal family visit a large number of charity organisations and projects each year.'ix It

  2. How and why did Federation occur?

    * The right to suffrage and the extension of the franchise (the right to vote) to men in the Australia colonies developed at a steady rate throughout the second half of the 19th century after the colonies achieved responsible government.

  1. Kashmir Issue and Mediation.

    Both were unsuccessful10. After this initial decade of keen involvement in Kashmir, having reached a stalemate, the UN pretty much stepped out of the picture. However, it did leave a very important legacy: the Security Council resolutions declaring the Kashmiri people should decide the future of the State.

  2. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    Maitland tried to encourage the Maltese to educate their children in England at the Government's expense. Maitland's achievement in education can be said to be very limited even though he tried to pass to the people a British type of education. Maitland pushed the Maltese to learn the English language.

  1. A Critical Evaluation of UK's ID Card schemeA Government's proposal to monitor its Citizens

    Ironically the above issues were mainly attributed to the Conservative Party's aggressively fought campaign. However, now the Conservative party appear to be back-pedalling on the issue, and are currently opposed to the card "The Tories have shifted from Michael Howard's overt support last December to weak abstention on third reading"

  2. COMBATING CORRUPTION IN BANGLADESH: SOME STRATEGIES

    the rail of communism has brought with it a plethora of stories of fraud, corruption, and criminal activity, making the media perhaps the most persistent institution in the fight against corruption. The Internet provides unprecedented opportunities of disseminating knowledge and increasing transparency across national borders in a timely fashion at low cost.

  1. Constitutional and Administrative Law

    They claim that central government has sought and seeks to undermine the three basic tenets of Dicey's code with an increase in things such as: * the Official Secrets Act * the attempt to remove an individual's right to trial by jury * the activities of the Secret Service (especially after September 11th)

  2. Public Law

    principle of Indirect Effect or the Marleasing principle10 after a famous French case, and is aimed to ensure that the courts interpret all domestic legislation in accordance with EU directives. But, what happens when a statute is found to be in conflict with an EU law or Directive?

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