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Flashcards in Federalism Deck (13):

What is American-Style Federalism?

Federal System 

– authority divided between two or more distinct levels of government

– United States consists of federal and state levels

Hybrid arrangement that mixes elements of a confederation and a unitary system.

• Confederation:  lower-level government has primary authority
• Unitary system:  national government monopolizes constitutional authority


Diagrams of Federation, confederation, and unitary system

A image thumb

Define dual federalism 

state governments and the national government preside over “spheres of sovereignty” 


Define cooperative federalism 

state governments and national government jointly supply services to the people 


Federalism and the constitution

Nationalization allowed by Constitution by granting federal government ultimate power to determine (within certain bounds) the extent of its authority over states


Transformation of the Senate 

•Equal representation for states regardless of population

•Senate members originally selected by state legislatures

•17th Amendment (1913) mandated direct, popular election of senators removing ties to state legislators


What resolves conflicts between federal and state governments? 

The Supreme Court


Describe the Nationalization of public policy 

– The nationalization of public policy was propelled by a rationale, or logic, of collective action.
– Certain programs outstrip state resources.
– States sometimes solicit federal intervention when unable to solve problems by working together individually.
– National majorities increasingly insisted on federal involvement in what were formerly considered state and local matters.   


What was Roosevelt's New Deal?

– Comprehensive set of economic regulations and relief programs intended to fight the Great Depression

– Franklin D. Roosevelt invoked the Commerce Clause


What was Johnson's Great Society?

– War on Poverty as part of the Lyndon Johnson administration’s Great Society agenda

– More than a hundred new programs, the largest of which was Medicaid

– Subsidized state programs and implemented national goals


Why do policy proposers often strategically shift policy to national government rather than states?

– Difficult to lobby/persuade 50 separate state legislatures

– Congress can be more efficient, since single federal law can change policy in all 50 states at once

– Avoid burdensome and varied regulations

– The national government may be more receptive to change than local community (eg. civil rights)—although opposite can also occur


Modern Federalism: Define Preemption legislation 

Federal laws that assert the national government’s prerogative to control public policy in a particular area