Federalism in the United States - Essay Sample for Free Download

Published: 2022-02-22
Federalism in the United States - Essay Sample for Free Download
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  United States Political science Federalism
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 910 words
8 min read

Federalism is, by definition, the principle that allows the sharing of power among the national government and the state governments of the United States. Federalism has been in existence for a long time and has helped in a lot of achievements in the United States since power is not just confined in the hands of the national government but rather the lesser/state and other political units have a chance to exercise power by themselves. However, even though power is shared between national and state governments, the national government remains to be the head and all decisions that matter are made by this government while others remain silent and wait for intervention by the national government.

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In other words, there are some limits in the exercise of power when it comes to the states such that there are things the state governments cannot do, but it is expected to be done by the central government. It is important to understand the principles of the United States federalism that can identify and explain in a better way or rather prove that federalism exists and works for the people of the United States.


To begin with, federalism has been seen to exist in the United States Constitution in different ways. This is mostly in connection to the things that the federal governments can do in terms of making decisions that pertain particular important issues or even their intervention on matters of great concern. In the first place, it is evident from the civil war that took place in the united states when the state governments wanted to secede from the national government, and they did all they could to achieve this (Chhibber et al. 2009). However, because of the fact that in this concept of federalism in the united states' constitution there are limits on what the lesser governments can do, the central government that was headed by the president Abraham Lincoln at that time placed no value on the plan by the state governments to secede from the national government and thus did not recognize this or give them a chance to do so. The occurrence of this civil war proved the ability that federalism has in matters connected to the civil war and such things. Federalism exists in such a way that the national government of the US has the final say when it comes to matters that will affect all the people and thus this government cannot allow the state governments to decide on what is to be done for the whole United States.

This is even though each lesser government has been given responsibilities to undertake and actions taken by that government are important for the benefit of those particular states. The governance of these state governments is with a lot of carefulness and follows the guidelines of the constitution to the latter (Varsanyi et al Pp. 138-158). In other words, it is that the state governments are a basic unit for the national government, depending on what they plan and do but have no power over the larger government. For example the united states has got several states within itself and these states make it the bigger U.S. every particular state has its leadership and or governance strictly adhering to the constitution, but at the end of it all, the expected outcome for all these states is the same, and the national government remains to be the overall.

Also, all the states have got different sections, and these sections are subdivided into several other sections, such as counties all under the control of states with multiple branches. Therefore, this means that the power is divided into levels, and that is how it is done since each unit or section has got its responsibilities and roles to play (Menon et al. 2006). Moreover, the states are also under the control of state governments, which have three main branches, which include the two main, which are the executive and legislative branches. The people in these legislative and executive positions are elected by the other people within those states to exercise power and represent them.

This means that at all given times, the federal concept of the United States' constitution allows for the exercise of power from the bottommost level upwards to the highest level which comprises of the central or national government (Varsanyi et al Pp 138-158). This is very important because federalism allows for the quick intervention on issues and allows for a contribution of the lesser units towards great achievements of the national government generally and that all people are able to have a good access to the leaders and air out their grievances on certain issues whether political, social or other related issues.


In conclusion, the concept of federalism in the United States has been of great importance and has helped in the transformation of the United States to how it is at the present times. A lot of great things have been achieved through this, and its impacts continue to intensify with time.

Works Cited

Chhibber, Pradeep, and Ken Kollman. The formation of national party systems: Federalism and party competition in Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States. Princeton University Press, 2009.

Menon, Anand, and Martin Schain. Comparative federalism: the European Union and the United States in comparative perspective. Oxford University Press on Demand, 2006.

Varsanyi, Monica W., et al. "A multilayered jurisdictional patchwork: Immigration federalism in the United States." Law & Policy 34.2 (2012): 138-158.

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