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Revision Lesson - Federalism

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Revision Lesson - Federalism

  1. 1. Revision Lesson; Federalism
  2. 2. Why Federalism? Western expansion - Needed someone to intervene, manage this growth Amendments – 14th allowed fed govt to end segregation, 16th –impose tax Population - 4 million to 300, needed a big government to manage Industrialisation - Needed regulation, standardisation, Communication - Improvements brought nation closer, needed regulation, standardisation Great depression - States needed the resources that national government had. New deal central government huge expenditure- increased power of fed government Foreign policy - WW2 and events in wider world gave federal govt wider role S/C cases - interpreted the implied powers of the constitution
  3. 3. Federalism Origins Advantages and Disadvantages Federal-state relations Phases of federalism Federalism under Obama Consequences of federalism
  4. 4. Origins The Framers were dedicated to the concept of limited government. They were convinced (1) that governmental power poses a threat to individual liberty, (2) that therefore the exercise of governmental power must be restrained, and (3) that to divide governmental power, as federalism does, is to curb it and so prevent its abuse. Federalism reserves some powers to the federal government, some powers to the state governments, and other powers to both.
  5. 5. Advantages of Federalism • Fosters state loyalties: Many Americans feel close ties to their home state, and federalism maintains that connection by giving power to the states. • Practices pragmatism: Running a country the size of the United States, with such a diverse population, is much easier to do if power is given to local officials. 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. • Creates laboratories of democracy: State governments can experiment with policies, and other states (and the federal government) can learn from their successes and failures.
  6. 6. Advantages of Federalism • Leads to political stability: By removing the national government from some contentious issue areas, federalism allowed the early U.S. government to achieve and maintain stability. • Encourages pluralism: Federal systems expand government on national, state, and local levels, giving people more access to leaders and opportunities to get involved in their government. • Ensures the separation of powers and prevents tyranny: Even if one person or group took control of all three branches of the federal government, federalism ensures that state governments would still function independently. Federalism, therefore, fulfils the framers’ vision of a governmental structure that ensures liberty.
  7. 7. Disadvantages of Federalism • Prevents the creation of a national policy: The United States does not have a single policy on issues; instead, it has fifty-one policies, which often leads to confusion. • Leads to a lack of accountability: The overlap of the boundaries among national and state governments makes it tricky to assign blame for failed policies.
  8. 8. Federal-state relations The Founding Fathers enumerated several key doctrines in Article 4 that helped construct the federal model of government. Full Faith and Credit Clause Privileges and Immunities Clause Extradition Clause Admission of States Republican Form of Government
  9. 9. Phases of Federalism Although the Constitution provides the structure for the federal-state relationship there have been different types of federalism known as ‘phases of federalism’. Dual Federalism Cooperative Federalism Creative Federalism New Federalism
  10. 10. Dual Federalism • When the Constitution was written, it was widely understood that the federal government and the states would exercise different separate powers. • The federal government would be responsible for all foreign affair, national defence and all interstate matters (such as trade that crossed state boundaries); the states would be responsible for everything else, including any powers not specifically mentioned in the Constitution (known as ‘reserved powers’). • For most Americans, this meant that the majority of decisions affecting would be made by their state government which, in principle, best understood them and had their interests at heart. • This relationship between the states and the federal government is known as ‘dual federalism’.
  11. 11. Co-operative Federalism • When the Great Depression struck, in the 1930s, the balance between the states and the federal government was decisively altered. • The states did not have the resources to help citizens who had lost their jobs and, often, their homes. • The federal government did have the resources and it used them, in the New Deal, to help those who were suffering and to stimulate the economy. • However, this meant federal government involvement in welfare matters that had previously been considered the exclusive responsibility of the states. • This changed, overlapping relationship between the states and federal government is known as ‘cooperative federalism’.
  12. 12. Creative Federalism • In the 1960s, the relationship between the states and federal government changed again. • President Lyndon B Johnson launched his Great Society programme, designed to end poverty in the USA. • In his view, the states had never made a serious effort to tackle the concentrated pockets of poverty, often in the cities (such as Los Angeles South Central district), and could not be relied upon to do so. • Therefore his programme often bypassed state governments and worked directly with city or local authorities to implement anti-poverty projects. T • his further advance of the federal government into matters traditionally seen as the responsibility of the states is known as ‘creative federalism’.
  13. 13. New Federalism • Since President Johnson left office in 1969, almost every president, both Republican and Democrat, has introduced programmes to re-empower the states and restore a balance closer to the original model of dual federalism. • These programmes, although they vary quite significantly, are collectively known as ‘new federalism’. • Overall, new federalism has illustrated the difficulty of achieving a relationship between the states and federal government that resembles the balance expected by the Founding Fathers.
  14. 14. New Federalism • President Nixon (Republican 1969-74) • Nixon’s programme, called General Revenue Sharing, allowed the states to spend a greater proportion of their federal grants as they chose. • President Carter (Democrat 1977-81) • Carter continued the General Revenue Sharing programme of his predecessor, but also cut the amount of federal grants available to the states so that they would have to become self-dependent. • President Reagan (Republican 1981-89) • Reagan made sharp cuts to funds available to the states, especially for welfare payments, as soon as he took office. He offered the states a new arrangement, reminiscent of dual federalism (called ‘swaps’), in which they would take full responsibility for some welfare programmes while the federal government would take over others in their entirety . The increased cost to the states of such an arrangement led them to reject the proposal.
  15. 15. New Federalism • President Clinton (Democrat 1993-2001) • Clinton oversaw an economic boom that led to the states building up surplus funds, in many cases, for the first time since the 1920s. These funds were then used to pioneer new policy ideas that suited the states’ needs and priorities, for example Wisconsin started a programme to extend school choice by issuing families with education vouchers that could be used in any school, whether state-run or private. • President George W Bush (Republican 2001-2009) • Although committed to new federalism in principle, President George W Bush responded to the attacks of 11 September 2001 by increasing government control over any policy that related to national security. Then, when the economy deteriorated sharply in 2008, he introduced an economic stimulus plan that included substantial payments to struggling state governments. • President Obama (Democrat 2009-) • The first action of President Obama, taking office in the midst of an economic crisis was an economic stimulus plan on an even greater scale than that of his predecessor.
  16. 16. Federalism under Obama Key features of federalism under Obama; • Direct effort to control state budgets, policies and administration • Expanded use of project or competitive grants • Blurred division of responsibilities • Executive Influence
  17. 17. Consequences of federalism State laws are often of greater significance to citizens since they influence their daily lives. Regionalism • Very distinct cultures in the different regions in the country. E.g. Bible belt very different to New England.
  18. 18. Consequences of Federalism Legal Consequences • Laws differ greatly between states, especially on age of marriage, driving regulations, death penalty, drugs, and local taxation. E.g. Oregon has doctor assisted suicide. Economic Consequences • Complex tax system as both fed and state govts can raise income tax • Property and sales tax differ between states
  19. 19. Consequences of Federalism Political Consequences • Each state has different electoral methods. • Different candidate selection, different mechanisms for polling, e.g punch cards,/touch screen. Montana had 100% postal ballot. • Contributed to issues of 2000 election. • Parties are state based. Virginia Republicans are more liberal than South Carolina Republicans, therefore relative lack of party unity in Congress
  20. 20. Potential Exam Questions • Explain the impact of New Federalism on the power and influence of the states. (15) • How and why is federalism enshrined in the Constitution? (15) • Why, and to what extent, has there been disagreement about the constitutional importance of federalism? (15) • To what extent has federalism been eroded as a constitutional principle? (15)
  21. 21. Questions?

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