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Government - Unit 2, Chapter 4: Federalism
Transcript of Government - Unit 2, Chapter 4: Federalism
Federalism: The Division of Powers
Federalism was seen by the framers as a way to ensure that the federal government was strong enough to meet the nations need but preserved the strength of the states.
Definition: Federalism is a system of government in which a written constitution divides the powers of government on a territorial basis between a central, or national government and several regional governments, usually called states or provinces.
The Constitution divides power between the national government and the states by assigning certain powers to the national government and certain powers to the states.
The National Government is a government of delegated powers. That is, it has only those powers delegated (granted) to it in the Constitution.
There are three distinct types of delegated powers: expressed, implied, and inherent.
These powers are spelled out, expressly, in the Constitution
The Constitution give 27 powers to Congress
They include the power to lay and collect taxes, coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, declare war, etc.
There are several expressed powers given to the President as well.
These include making treaties, grant pardons, act as commander in chief of the armed forces, etc.
The implied powers are not expressly stated in the Constitution but are reasonably suggested, or implied.
A clause in the Constitution gives Congress the power to "make all laws which shall be necessary and proper..."
Congress has used this power to build the interstate highway system, prohibit racial discrimination, and much more.
These powers belong to the National Government because it is the national government of a sovereign state in the world community.
Even though the Constitution does not expressly provide them, they are powers that, over time, all national governments have possessed.
Examples: regulate immigration, acquire territory, protect the nation against rebellion, etc.
There are also powers that are denied to the national government. The Constitution expressly denies some powers...some powers are denied to the national government because of the silence of the Constitution...
The Constitution reserves powers to the states...the reserved powers are those powers the Constitution does not grant to the National Government and does not deny to the states.
Through these powers state governments can establish schools, enact land use laws, regulate gas, oil, electric power, telephone companies, drug trafficking, require doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, and plumbers to be licensed, etc. etc. etc.
The sphere of powers held by each State is huge! In fact, most of what government does in this country today is done by the States and their local governments, NOT the National Government.
There are some powers that are denied to the States though.
The Constitution forbids States from coining their own money, entering into treaties, alliances, or confederations and it cannot deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
Exclusive and Concurrent Powers
Some of the powers delegated in the Constitution are exclusive powers...some powers are exclusive to the States and some are exclusive to the National government.
Some of the powers delegated to the National Government are concurrent powers. These are powers that both the National Government and State governments possess and exercise.
Establish public schools
Establish local governments
Levy and collect taxes
Conduct foreign relations
The Supreme Law of the Land
The Supremacy Clause: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States...shall be the supreme Law of the Land..."
City and County Charters and Ordinances
Acts of Congress (federal laws) and Treaties
United States Constitution
The National Government and the 50 States
The Constitution states that the National Government must "protect each of them [States] against invasion" and "against domestic violence."
This section of the Constitution has been used to call in the National Guard to protect cities during riots.
And even natural disasters such as storms, floods, drought, forest fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
Grants, Aid, and other Revenue Sharing
The national government and state governments often work together, in some cases one is trying to take responsibility, and in others trying to push responsibility onto the other.
Federal Grants-in-Aid programs are grants of federal money to the States and/or their cities, counties, and other local units.
These programs have been used to build schools and colleges, roads, New Deal programs, and much more.
There are three different types of grants-in-aid: categorical grants, block grants, and project grants.
Categorical grants are made for some specific, closely defined purpose: for school lunches or for the construction of an airport.
Block grants are made for much more broadly defined purposes such as health care or social services.
Project grants are made to States, localities, and sometimes private agencies. Project grants could be used to support scientists engaged in research on cancer or diabetes or even for job training for State and local governments.
While no state can enter into any treaty or alliance States may enter into an interstate compact with the consent of Congress.
Interstate compact is an agreement among states...as in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Each state shares responsibility for the port and it benefits both of them.
Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution states:
"Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other state."
Example: Allen sues Bill in Florida, and the Florida court awards Allen $50,000 in damages. Bill cannot escape payment of the damages by moving to Georgia. Instead, the Georgia courts would have to give full faith and credit to (recognize and respect the validity of) the judgment made by the Florida court.
Extradition is similar to the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution but it deals specifically with a fugitive from justice...
Extradition is the legal process by which a fugitive from justice (on the run) from one State can be returned to that State.