AmericanGovernmentChapter4 - Governmental structure...

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Federalism: good or bad? Definition: political system with local governmental units, in addition to national one, that can make final decisions Examples of federal governments: Canada, India, and Germany Examples of unitary governments: France, Great Britain, and Italy Special protection of subnational governments in federal system is the result of: Constitution of country Habits, preferences, and dispositions of citizens Distribution of political power in society National government largely does not govern individuals directly but gets states to do so in keeping with national policy Negative views: block progress and protect powerful local interests Laski: states "poisonous and parasitic" Riker: perpetuation of racism Positive view: Elazar: strength, flexibility, and liberty Federalism makes good and bad effects possible Different political groups with different political purposes come to power in different places Federalist No. 10: small political units dominated by single political faction Increased political activity Most obvious effect of federalism: facilitates mobilization of political activity Federalism lowers the cost of political organization at the local level. The Founding A bold, new plan to protect personal liberty Founders believed that neither national nor state government would have authority over the other because power derives from the people, who shift their support. New plan had no historical precedent. Tenth Amendment was added as an afterthought, to define the power of states Elastic language in Article I: necessary and proper Precise definitions of powers politically impossible because of competing interests, such as commerce Hence vague language--"necessary and proper" Hamilton's view: national supremacy because Constitution supreme law Jefferson's view: states' rights with people ultimate sovereign The debate on the meaning of federalism The Supreme Court speaks Hamiltonian position espoused by Marshall
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2010 for the course HIST 133 taught by Professor Cxcv during the Spring '10 term at Acadia.

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AmericanGovernmentChapter4 - Governmental structure...

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