Approval of the Constitution of Term Paper

  • Length: 8 pages
  • Sources: 8
  • Subject: American History
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #53645579

Excerpt from Term Paper :


The Dual Federalism is the reflection of the ideology that stressed over the balance of powers between the national and state governments, and considers both the governments as 'equal partners with separate and distinct spheres of authority' (Sergio, 2005). Previously, the 'federal or national government was limited in its authority to those powers enumerated in the Constitution', and it was evident that there was partial understanding and correspondence between the national and stat. There existed little collaboration between the national and state governments, which resulted in the 'occasional tensions over the nature of the union and the doctrine of nullification and state sovereignty'.

In 1789, the Constitution was approved by the States; ratification of the conventions convened took place. The period from 1789 to 1801 has been regarded as the Federalist Perios, 'the period takes its name from the dominant political party of the time, which believed in a strong central government. Its leaders included George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams. They were opposed by Anti-Federalists or Democratic Republicans, such as Thomas Jefferson, who argued against a strong central government and for state centered governance' (Sergio, 2005). In 1790, the responsibility related to the war debt was assigned to the federal government, which was regarded as a form of federal aid. The Tenth Amendment was incorporated, which 'protected the rights of the states and declared that all powers not expressly delegated to the central government by the Constitution were reserved for the states; this laid the foundation for the concepts of states rights, limited national government, and dual spheres of authority between state and national governments'. In 1798, the Doctrine of Nullification was incorporated, 'Federalist-controlled Congress in 1798 passed the Alien2 and Sedition3 Acts in an attempt to silence Democratic-Republican critics of the undeclared war with France', 'the doctrine of nullification held that 'any state could suspend within its boundaries the operation or implementation of any federal law it deemed to be unconstitutional'. In 1815, the Rights Doctrine was incorporated, 'The Hartford Convention, which was called to protest the economic hardships endured by New England states during the War of 1812, attempted to assert the states rights doctrine. The convention urged states to protect citizens against the acts of Congress not authorized in the Constitution' (Sergio, 2005).

In 1819, the Doctrine of Implied Powers was introduced, and essential amendments related to clause of Article I of the Constitution. In 1891, the Supreme Court approved unanimously the constitutional authority of the National government to establish a national bank, 'acknowledged that the national government was limited to powers enumerated in the Constitution, but stated that Article I also allowed the national government to pass such laws necessary and proper to carry out powers and duties enumerated by the Constitution'. The federalism was strengthen and experienced a major boost when the Supreme Court give a positive ruling in the favor of the federal government, and 'interpretation of the Constitution was premised on the notion that the national government was the creation of the people and not the states and that Article VI established federal law as the supreme law of the land, and the power to tax involves the power to destroy' (Sergio, 2005).

In 1860, the Civil War raised two core issues relevant to the role of the federal government and the nature of the union, 'slavery accelerated tensions between nation centered and state-centered concept of the federal system, there was wide difference of opinion on the one hand, there were those who argued that the union was but a league of sovereign states and that each state had the power to nullify federal laws within its boundaries or ultimately secede from the union, whereas on the other side were those who believed that the union was indestructible, created not by the states but by the people delegating to the states and the national government certain limited authority enunciated in the Constitution', therefore the issue related to the nature of the union was amicably resolved in the favor of a nation-centered concept of federalism.


The period observed deep and dominant presence of the 'national government into areas that had previously been the purview of the states' (Smith, 2005). During the era the Sherman Anti-trust Act, the Interstate Commerce Commission Act, as well as the Twelfth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments were approved and amended, through which the federal government had the discretion to apply its writ in different sectors related to the business, economy and civil rights. The federal government approved the regulation aimed at restricting the scope of the commerce related activities, 'in an effort to control the monopolistic tendencies of business' (Smith, 2005). The court provided full support to the federal government, and ruled that 'the state could not regulate rail rates if, as a consequence, it affected a portion of the rate charged in transportation of goods across state lines, whereas in the area of civil rights, the Court was far more restrictive in its interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection, due process and privileges and immunities clauses' (Smith, 2005).


The period has been responsible for the greater cooperation and collaboration among various levels of the governments, 'the national income tax and the grant-in-aid system were authorized in response to social and economic problems confronting the nation'. The federation was considered to be the vital and significant part of the democratic setup, and was considered as 'servant of the states in the kinds of activities funded' (Smith, 2005), after the incorporation of the federal grant system, which was aroused by the Great Depression, 'was expanded and fundamentally changed the power relations between federal and state governments' (Smith, 2005).


Michael Mcguire. American Federalism and the Search for Models of Management. Public Administration Review. Volume: 61. Issue: 6. 2001. American Society for Public Administration.

Stever, James a. The Growth and Decline of Executive-Centered Intergovernmental Management. Publius: The Journal of Federalism Vol. 23. 1993. pp. 71-84.

Stoker, Gerry, and Karen Mossberger. Urban Regime Theory in Comparative Perspective. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy Vol. 12. 1992. pp. 195-212.

Stone, Clarence. Regime Politics. University Press of Kansas. 1989. pp. 218.

Agranoff, Robert, and Valerie a. Lindsay. Intergovernmental Management: Perspectives from Human…

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