Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 Federalism What is Federalism...

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Chapter 3: Federalism What is Federalism? Federalism can be defined as a form of government that divides sovereign power across at least two political units Sovereign power: each unit of government has some degree of authority and autonomy States can do some things that the national government would not agree with o Responsible for education and law enforcement National government holds sway over the states o Responsible for national defense and foreign policy Division of power across levels of government is central to our system of separated powers Concurrent powers: responsibilities for particular policy areas, such as transportation, that are shared by federal, state, and local governments Local governments are not autonomous units of government and therefore have a different place within our federal system than national and state governments Controlled by state governments Federalism in Comparative Perspective Unitary government: a system in which the national, centralized government holds ultimate authority Most common form of government in the world Confederal government: a form of government in which states hold power over a limited national government Intergovernmental organizations have proliferated in the past several decades 1200 multilateral organizations created that seek to coordinate policies on economic activity, security and environmental protection o United Nation (UN) o International Monetary Fund (IMF) o North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) European Union began as a loose confederation, but is becoming more federalist in decision-making process and structure Balancing National and State Power in the Constitution Aspects of the Constitution support the nation-centered perspective Strong national government to provide national security Healthy and efficient economy Giving Congress power to regulate interstate commerce centralized an important economic power at the national level, and many restrictions on state power had similar effects States prohibited from: Entering into “any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation” Keeping troops or “ships of war” during peace time Could not coin money Could not impose duties on imports or exports Ensured states would not interfere with smooth operation of interstate commerce or create problems for national defense
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Chapter 3: Federalism If any state law or constitution conflicts with national law or the Constitution, the national perspective wins. Full faith and credit clause: part of Article IV of the Constitution requiring that each state’s laws be honored by the other states A legal marriage in one state must be recognized across state lines Privileges and immunities clause: part of Article IV of the Constitution requiring that states must treat non-state residents within their borders as they would treat their own residents Meant to promote commerce and travel between states. States allowed to make some distinctions between residents and nonresidents:
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course POLS 1301 at Texas Tech.

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Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 Federalism What is Federalism...

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