Forums Political Science Explain the concept of federalism practices in USA politics

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    Explain the concept of federalism practices in USA politics. How does separation of powers balances governments?

    #16158

    Federalism or federal form of government is based on the division of power between the central government and its various states. American federal form of government is the first and oldest of its kind. In America, the power is divided between a strong central (federal) government with the residual powers left with the state government. The country of America came into existence as a result of different 13 British colonies coming together. Later other colonies joined to form the country one knows today.

    The American federal structure emerged out of the need of the country’s founding fathers to maintain the liberty of these states from the encroachment of their authority by the dominance of a strong center. America federal form of government is characterized by dual citizenship where an individual can be a citizen of both the federal and of the specific state government, each state having their own constitution, their own Supreme Court etc. As opposed to a unitary form of government like the UK characterized by the dominance of center over the states, all the powers of the government are vested with the center.

    The federal form of government system provides for diffusion of power through all levels of rather than concentrating it just at the center. This ensures that the States have their own sphere of authority to exercise their power without the interference from the center. Since there is already a division of subjects under federal and its state’s government there is a clear demarcation of power between the two. Though that doesn’t necessarily imply that the federal government is weak but this form of structure ensures that the state can take its own decisions of the subjects enumerated on the state list without the interference from the center.

    Also, every state has the right to make its own policies and programs irrespective to other states. This thus allows the different states to maintain their own unique character. Thus, provide them with the means to express their own cultural diversity and thus maintaining their expression of liberty, which was the important aim of the founding fathers. Also, they don’t have to be completely dependent on the federal government. But at the same time, the presence of a strong federal government ensures that their unity is maintained.

    Thus, this ensures that the people from various ethnic or cultural backgrounds in the country don’t necessarily have to bend to a common national identity but are free to create their own. This ensures that their liberty is secured even within the national discourse.

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