Not only does the United States have a federal government in Washington, DC, but each of the fifty states has its own governments. According to the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all rights are not only granted to the nationalist government. In other words, our Federalist system includes both National and States Rights in federalism. Each kind of government has its own significant place in the American political system.
Under the U. S. Constitution, the powers of national governerment are enumerated specifically and some powers are handed over to states. Federal powers work on issues like civil rights, enviromental protection and public safety. Besides that, it is also necessary for States to reflect the values of the people who reside in them because of the diversity in different states which makes the different needs, wants and conditions of fifty states.
There are many controversies about what sort of federalism is better for the United States. Both National and States Rights have concurrent powers which include the ability to "tax, borrrow money, establish courts, provide public safety, make and enfore laws, charter banks and corporations, spend money for the general welfare and take private property for public purposes, paying just compensation in return. " (Edward.)
For example, in the United States, the federal government can tax its citizens and the states can tax their residents, which means that one person will pay both the federal income tax and the income tax imposed by the state where he/she lives. The Federal government has the responsibility, capacity and will of whatever problems that imperil the peace, prosperity of the United States and also the welfare of people such as environmental problems, terrorisms, minimum wage.
To be specific, National powers, which are also called enumerated powers, include "maneging the currency and money supply, conducting foreign relations, raising an army and navy, declaring and conducting war and by extension, providing national defense, establishing a federal court system to supplement the Supreme Court, regulating interstate commerce, establishing a postal system, establishing a system patents and copyrights and finally making laws that are necessary and proper to carry out the foregoing powers. " (Edward.)
To illustrate this, under Article II, Section 8 of the Constitutionthe power to declare war belongs only to the national government, specifically granted to congress. As a consequence, nationalism is able to promote synergy of all states and take control nationally. Under nationalism, people are likely to have a feeling of belonging and pride towards one nation, one community. Undoubtedly, the more unified the nation is, the more powerful the nation is. At the same time, every state has its own rights and independent powers (reserved powers) which include "conducting elections, ratify amendments to the U.
S. Constitution, providing public education, chartering banks, licensing professions, establishing a system of family law, taking measures for public health, safety, and morals, exercising powers that the Constitution does not specifically prohibit from the states, nor delegate to the national government, establishing local government and regulating commerce within the states. " (Edward. ) America is one of the largest and the most diverse countries in the world which is a combination of various types of religion, ethnicity, geography, language and history.
For this reason, the needs, wants and conditions of fifty states are different from others. National laws sometimes can not be accommodated for every states. Futher more, State governments are likely to know better about their citizens, which helps them apply policies judiciously. As an illustration; the power to create a school system is only given to the state goverment. Then, because state governments have their own power, they are able to initiate and try out new ideas which might be work successfully and be adopted by another states.
State governments impulse the creativity and their strengths. Likewise, the independence of state governments can reduce the risks of bad policy. It is commonly understood that National power predominates in the federalist system, but we absolutely can not deny the role of State Rights in many cases. The balance between national and state governments remains a strong basic structure of the United States government. “This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people.
If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from over passing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them. ” (Hamilton, (1788)) In my opinion, the states rights should have authority in some cases depending on their own geography, population and prevailing economic climate. And they also have a better opportunity to experiment and discover different effective soluions to social problems. National policies should become more flexible so that they are acceptable for different states.
Howerver, this does not mean that State governments can do whatever they want to do. Every states power is still under control of central or national government. In conclusion, there are many controversies between the National and State Rights and the debate between the National and State Rights perspectives still continues to this day in some cases such as recriminalizing medical marijuana, gay marriage and debt cieling. For examle, although medical marijuana have been legalized in 13 states since 1996, it remains illegal in the federal view. However, both of them play many significant roles in the federalist system.
It is not about looking for a perfect unitary goverment that doesn't exist. It is about how we balance the power of these government to improve upon, and grow in self-governing liberty.
Bibliography: Edward, Greenberg S. , and Page I. Benjamin. The Struggle for Democracy. 11th ed. N. p. : MyPoliSciLab, 2012. Print Wood, Gary. "Even those who disagreed agreed on federalism. " tenthamendmentcenter, Aug 20, 2010. Sep 25, 2014. Web. "What Are Concurrent Powers? " 3. Sep 24, 2014. Web "10th Amendment, Federalism, and States' Rights. " intellectualtakeout. Sep.