Why and how is federalism enshrined in the Constitution?

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  • Created on: 10-06-14 19:19
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Why is federalism enshrined in
the Constitution?
· The Founding Fathers wanted the states' roles to be protected in
the establishment of a new government
· But they also wanted a federal government that was strong enough
to pull together as a whole and run the government
· This gave the "best of both worlds"- the states and the federal
government could have a role in the new country under federalism
· Had already tried a Confederacy, with states acting as independent
and a very weak national government, however, this did not work
and was inefficient; states were able to exploit each other through
· Thus, it was proven that federalism was needed for the US to
function as a country
How is federalism enshrined in
the Constitution?
· There is equal representation of states in the Senate- no state can
dominate the other in the Senate-no one has more power then
other, as each state has 2 senators no matter their size, eg
California and Wyoming both have 2 senators despite their vast
differences in size.
· The Electoral College for the President- Ensures that the smaller
states still have a say and in theory, no states dominate the process
and to win broad support from all states is needed
· The Constitution can only be amended with ¾ of the state
legislatures- ie the federal government is not the only bodies that
has a say when changing the constitution and states are
successfully stop an amendment from becoming law and cannot be
· The 10th Amendment- The last amendment in the Bill of Rights
grants all power not given the federal branches of government to
the states or the people


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