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    Federalism through the Centuries II (200 words)

    Just as Jefferson, Monroe and Calhoun argued on behalf of the states, Daniel Webster articulately argued on behalf of national power. What are the advantages of a centralized power?

    Federalism through the Centuries I (200 words)
    The Constitutional Convention was, of course, a repudiation of the power of the states under the Articles of Confederation. Yet, even after the states ratified the Constitution, there were national leaders (Jefferson, Madison) who maintained that the states continued to have very, very significant power under the Constitution (including the power to nullify federal acts, as witnessed in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions). What advantages are there for the decentralization of power to the state level? In other words, in what areas is it more advantageous for the states to exercise governmental authority rather than the federal government?

    Future of Federalism
    Chapter 7 in the text is one of the best written by Rossum & Tarr. You can see from the text their interest in this subject. Rossum & Tarr note that CJ Marshall “often favored the claims of the national government over those of the states” (p. 291). This was probably an important thing for Marshall to do, given the fact that the national government was very new and the states had virtually all the power under the Articles of Confederation. The Civil War was in large measure a political battle between the power of the state governments vs. the power of the national government. Upon the conclusion of the Civil War, the power of the national government ascended, and continued to ascend during most of the 20th Century because of increased industrialization and commercialization, and the need for regulatory power. Citing the text and cases (no outside research necessary), compose an essay on what you think is the future of federalism. Will the historical trajectory of national power continue (particularly in light of the increased threat to security posed by international terrorism)? Will this trajectory end in light of increasing public awareness that the “one size fits all” approach of national programs is locally ineffective? Or will state authority increase in some areas and decrease in others (if so, what ones)?




Subject Law and governance Pages 4 Style APA


Federalism: Advantages of Centralized Power and Decentralization

Federalism describes a system of shared governance between centralized/national governance and state level governments. A centralized government is one which both legislative and executive power is centralized at the higher level as opposed to it being distributed to different lower lever governments. This paper discusses the advantages of centralized power as well as the advantages of a decentralization of power to state levels.

Advantages of Centralized Power

Advocates of decentralized power often argue that centralization is the root of all evil in the government system. However, according to Rossum et al. (2016), centralized power promotes territorial justice and equality. It sustains service standards, rationalize resource distribution, and synchronize local development. There is a need for national plans, particularly when resources are limited, and only centralized authority can guarantee territorial equality by the central provision of funds and supervising the uniform implementation of national policies (Rossum et al., 2016). Centralized power is encouraged by financial weakness, national elites, including the bureaucracy, enthusiastic to protect their interest and political stability.

Centralized power biggest advantage is the standardization of laws and services. According to Rossum et al. (2016), centralized governments allow citizens to relocate to another state without having to deal with attaining new IDs, registration, paperwork, or new bureaucracy. With a centralized power individuals can get everything done at one place and have it be applicable throughout the nation. A strong, centralized authority has some extremely significant traits including the ability to centrally establish policy for an entire country (Rossum et al., 2016). This trait can be considered as a significant force given that it can pull a nation out of poverty.

Advantages of Decentralization of Power to State Level

Decentralization is the transfer of national functions or responsibilities from central government to state levels. According to Arkorful et al. (2021) decentralization can take different forms including deconcetration, delegation and devolution. Decentralization of power to state level provides a framework which facilitates and stimulates local sustainable development throughout all regions of the country given that more functions are conducted at the state level therefore, creating opportunities for locals with technical, managerial and leadership skills to remain in the state. As a result, improving state capacity to manage local affairs and spearhead local development.

Decentralization of power to state levels facilitates immense popular involvement in governance. According to Arkorful et al. (2021), decentralization brings the government closer to the citizens, and therefore, enables them to be betters informed and better comprehend the conduct of the public production. Moreover, decentralization allows communities to pursue their development objectives and obtain support from state governments. Arkorful et al. (2021) indicate that placing responsibility for managing state affairs and for state sustainable development at the state rather than central government will afford citizens greater access to, and ability to influence, the policy/decision-making process. So long as the state’s laws do not contradict central/national laws, state governments can prescribe policies on commerce, taxation, healthcare, education, among other concerns within the state (Rossum et al., 2016). Outstandingly, both the federal and states government have a power to tax, make and enforce laws, license banks and borrow funds.



The future of Federalism

 As the country becomes increasingly polarized, shifting political power to the states will allow governments to better respond to their constituent’s demands. Moreover, as the American political system remains deeply polarized, minority parties will continue to effectively use state governments as proxies for national policy battles.


Arkorful, V. E., Lugu, B. K., Hammond, A., & Basiru, I. (2021, January). Decentralization and Citizens’ Participation in Local Governance: Does Trust and Transparency Matter?–An Empirical Study. In Forum for development studies (pp. 1-25). Routledge. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08039410.2021.1872698

Rossum, R. A., Tarr, G. A. & Munoz, V.  (2016). American Constitutional Law, Volume I: The Structure of Government. Hachette UK. Vol. I, 11th ed. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0367233334.




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