Examples of U.S. Federal Government Authority Expansion

Abstract If you were to ask one hundred Americans what caused the civil war I think ninety five out of that one hundred would say slavery. The Civil War was about the rights of states. They felt they had the right to secede from the Union. This was primarily due to the states feeling there rights were being taken away. This feeling was similar to how the colonies felt. We do remember that resulted in the Revolutionary War. The south was being force to purchase products produced in the north. Those products were more expensive. The southern states felt they were losing political power.?

Examples of U. S. Federal Government Authority Expansion Congress was authorized in 1865 to eliminate slavery. They did so by creating the Thirteenth Amendment. President Abraham Lincoln had already presented the Proclamation to stop slavery as an executive order. The Thirteenth Amendment made that Proclamation the law of the land. The Political Structure showed the second part of the Proclamation granted Congress the power to enforce through legislation what is considered the most important part. It gave them the ability to take further action against the Ten Confederate States.

This would also give the government a way to introduce and pass further Proclamations in regards to the rights of slaves. Social structures showed that full civil rights were still a long way off. The law and public opinion are not always in alignment. While by law freed slaves and their descendants were citizens and had the same rights as whites, there were still treated differently. Segregation became institutionalized, under “Jim Crow” laws. The rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century brought violence against African Americans. They used force to get the change they wanted.

“Separate but Equal” was the norm until the civil right movement. Economic structures naturally changed. Without slave labor, the way agricultural business ran had to be changed, and profit margins sank until the market compensated. Wages were poor, but African Americans were free to set up their own businesses, and to travel to other regions to find work. The Eighteenth Amendment written in 1919 prohibited the manufacturing, importing, and exporting of alcoholic beverages. This is only one example of how the Federal governed started using the power to restrict trade goods in the U. S.

To do so many offices had to be created. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) assures the quality of food and pharmaceuticals, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works to insure clean air and waters by restricting the use of toxic material in manufacturing processes, and the Drug Enforcement Agency restricts trafficking of illegal narcotics. The Eighteenth Amendment was later changed to the Twenty Fifth Amendment. Social structures changed, people found ways to work around the law. With the demand for liquor continuing to increase the black market started. Moonshiners and big Mobster Bosses created organized crime.

The moonshiners manufactured the liquor and the Mobster Bosses bought the liquor. The Mobsters then provided places where people could gather to consume the illegal alcohol. Prohibition was in full speed. The economic structures, showed two things that happened. First, breweries and distilleries either went out of business or shifted into something else. Second, an underground economy sprang into existence, flowing through the black market liquor business. The Twentieth and Twenty-Fifth Amendments each changed the terms of presidential succession. They changed such things as the date and time a newly elected President takes office.

The Twentieth Amendment gives the House of Representatives the power to select the President in the event of death, when no line of succession is clear. It also grants the Senate the power to appoint the Vice President under the same circumstances. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment provides Congress with the power to decide to permanently remove the President from office, should he become disabled and unable to perform his duties, and declare the Vice President to be not just the acting President pro tempore but officially the President.

The political ramifications of this are not so much applicable to overall Federal power, but to the power of separate political parties. If the President is the minority party, and the House majority is controlled by the opposing party, this could grant that party a great deal of power contrary to the will of the voters. The impact on social and economic structures remains largely hypothetical. It would depend on the party makeup of Congress, the issues at stake, and how the American people and America’s allies and enemies felt about the situation. Legislation that would have been vetoed gets passed, and vice-versa. References ISBN: 978-1-12-109611-0 2011, The McGraw-Hill Companies.