Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

Explain the role and importance of Federalism in the Constitutional system of government.

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Politics and see how teachers think you should prepare in:

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Robin Walden Politics in the USA Tutor: Donna Jackson Explain the role and importance of Federalism in the Constitutional system of government. When the founding fathers constructed the American constitution in 1787, Federalism was absolutely crucial to the basis of the revision of the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution itself was testament to the Founding Fathers' will to implement a central government, for the Articles of Confederation had proven ineffective in providing a unifying leadership. The system of Federalism addressed this problem whilst remaining wary of the possible abuse of this authority, represented through the political power distributed to the States. This preservation of democracy represents the Founding Fathers biggest concern and this legacy of freedom and liberty remains today as essential to the American character. Not only was it important to separate the powers to protect democracy, but cultural and political differences between the states demanded that local governments oversee local issues. The changing role and definition of Federalism from 1789 to present is also important to consider, with special consideration required in the transformation it has undertaken in the twentieth century. Federalism has always been at the cornerstone of democracy in the United States and this surely remains the case today, for the American people have always identified themselves as an American and as an American of a particular state.

Middle

He is surely referring to the fact that there is no one overwhelming authority, instead there is a series of authorities between state and central government, discouraging and indeed making improbable, any abuse of power. Samuel H. Beer believes that not only does Federalism discourage tyranny but "the social plurism of the general government will counteract tendencies toward a factional abuse of power in the subordinate governments."13, thereby acting as a check on the system, reducing further the risk of abuse. The power distributed to the States ensure that power "cannot legitimately be centralized or concentrated without breaking the structure and spirit of the constitution"14, once more ensuring that no kind of autocracy could be implemented established within America. The powers of the States are substantial; with the most important role being the ratification of constitutional amendments. As long as the States remain a part of the Constitutional process, there is no possibility that their influence will disappear, or diminish significantly; their rights and responsibilities are constitutionally protected and for this reason the role of the States is of huge importance. This example conforms to and adheres to Tocqueville's views that the republic is well protected through Federalism, once more deflecting the possibility of tyranny.

Conclusion

Therefore the role and importance of Federalism to the Constitutional form of government must not be understated. The significance of the separation of powers is based in the Founding Fathers fear of tyrannical, undemocratic government, and their will to stop any such government emerging in America. Also of motivation in the Constitution's construction was the will to preserve the individual states identity through their self-governance within this Federalist system; Federalism's capacity to allow both overall and individual government is essential to this. Despite the modern reduction in the influence of State government, the Constitution preserves the states' rights, ensuring their influence will remain and they will act as a check on the central government. Whether or not the Founding Fathers would concur with the current state of Federalism in America is debateable, yet the circumstances of the twentieth century undeniably demanded the increase in the role of Federalism. Current intergovernmental relations may revert to a more 'classical' form of federalism as and when circumstances allow, yet the fact that these debates remain underlines the continuing importance of Federalism. The separation of powers and consequent protection of democracy remains essential to the American political system, and the Founding Fathers legacy remains today in the form of Federal government.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

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

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree UK Government & Parliamentary Studies essays

  1. Examine the role of Gandhi in the development of Indian nationalism

    He called for boycotts of elections, schools and courts. He asked all Indian government officials to resign from their positions which a number few arrested and imprisoned for. This was linked by Muslim no-tax initiatives. In 1922 however Gandhi called for an abrupt end to the non cooperation pact to the surprise of most due to the out break of violence where 22 police officers where killed.

  2. The Parliamentary Roller coaster ride: Rise or Fall? Australia, as stated in our ...

    At the 37th Parliament, a total of 482 bills were considered. Of those, 157 were amended with a total of 1812 amendments. Over a quarter of those were initiated by parties other than the government. (L. Young 2000:110) Australian politics has changed considerably in recent years and is likely to change more.

  1. Compare and contrast the views of Confucianism, Taoism (Daoism), and Legalism on the "the ...

    a sense of the shame, and abide by what is required of them."(2.3)5. A good Tao emperor, according to Lao-Tzu, is an emperor who governs as little as possible, keeping the natural way, "laissez-faire" the people. The ruler should take care to satisfy the populace because when the people are

  2. John Locke and Thomas Hobbes are two philosophers who thought extensively on the subject ...

    this law, which causes them to enter into a state of war with the others. People reject the law of nature for many reasons, especially when their ideas and opinions differ. One of two things may occur when people reject the laws of nature.

  1. To what extent was slavery the cause of the American Civil War?

    divorce the agitators from the issues with the aim of showing that the issues had no importance32. Slavery was a real point of antagonism, and not manufactured by political agitators. It remains an important point in the cause of the Civil War.

  2. Assess Mrs Thatcher's impact on British government and politics.

    Therefore, a major objective of the New Right is to stem this chaos, when this is put in the context of the 1970s as discussed earlier, it is of little surprise that each of these institutions have undergone reform to reassert the Governments authority.

  1. How far has the United Kingdom Implemented a system of separation of powers.

    The relationship of the individual and the government in a democracy is one called a social contract. This means that the individual concedes power to the government to rule and the government in turn holds this power as a trustee of the individual's rights and freedoms.

  2. Is Representative Democracy An Effective Way to Distribute Political Power?

    Increasingly Labour MPs and candidates including Chuka Ummuna and Sadiq Khan and Jon Trickett have been arguing for tackling race, gender and class cohesively in trying to achieve fair chances across all of these dimensions while avoiding a politics of competitive grievance between the advocates of fair chances for women,

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Politics and see how teachers think you should prepare in: