Chapter 3 - Study Guide

Chapter 3 - Study Guide - POLS 101I American National...

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POLS 101I – American National Government Hagan Chapter Three Federalism: Forging a Nation Learning Objectives Having read the chapter, the students should be able to do each of the following: . Define federalism and describe the bargaining process at the Philadelphia Convention resulting in its inception. . Specify the difference between enumerated, implied, and reserved powers. Explain the purpose underlying this distribution of power. . Distinguish between the “necessary and proper,” supremacy, and commerce clauses, explaining how their constitutional interpretations have affected the division of powers in American government. . Outline the different stages in the Supreme Court’s interpretation of federalism, referring to its major decisions and their significance. Focus and Main Points The author focuses on the issue of federalism. The constitutional debate of 1787 is discussed in terms of the relationship between the nation and the states. The changing nature of federalism over time is explored, and the chapter concludes with a brief commentary on federalism today. The main points of the chapter are as follows: The power of government must be equal to its responsibilities. The Constitution was written because the nation’s government under the Articles of Confederation was too weak to accomplish its expected goals, particularly those of a strong national defense and an integrated economy. The Framers created a stronger national government by granting it significant powers, particularly in the areas of taxation and regulation of commerce. Federalism—the constitutional division of governing authority between two levels, nation and states— was the result of political bargaining. Federalism was not a theoretical principle, but a compromise necessary in 1787 by the prior existence of the states. Federalism is not a fixed principle for allocating power between the national and state governments, but a principle that has changed in response to changing political needs. Federalism has passed through several distinct changes during the nation’s history. Contemporary American federalism tilts toward national authority, reflecting the increased interdependence of American society. However, there is a current trend toward devolution of power from Washington, D.C. to the states. Chapter Summary The foremost characteristic of the American political system is its division of authority between a national government and the states. The first U.S. government, established by the Articles of Confederation, was essentially a loose alliance of states. In establishing the basis for a more powerful national government, the Framers also made provisions
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2011 for the course POLS 101 taught by Professor Hamilton,t during the Summer '08 term at College of Southern Idaho.

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Chapter 3 - Study Guide - POLS 101I American National...

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