What is Federalism? |
Professor Mechelle Smith |
David E. Thomas |
Federalism is a term that is timeworn, but is quite important in American history due to its lineage and how it affects government-both Federal and State. American Federalism is not a static set of arrangements, frozen in time by the United States Constitution but a dynamic, ever-changing, multi-dimensional process that has economic, administrative and political aspects as well as constitutional ones (Katz, 1997).
So, what is Federalism? Federalism is a system that power is distributed between the Federal Government and the States. ...view middle of the document...
Alexander Hamilton (The first Secretary of the Treasury) created the National Bank to aid Congresses ability to invent money. This is challenged in the Supreme Court case of McCullough v Maryland, 1819 (Regents Prep.org).
Today, the Federal Government still has the overall, absolute power to print and coin money. This power is distributed through to the Federal Reserve (The Fed). No state has the authority or ability to procure its money. This practice hasn’t existed since before the establishment of the Constitution during the time of the Articles of Confederation (Wilson, Dilulio, Bose, 2014).
The second example that will be discussed deals with the regulation of trade, both Interstate, and International, though this particular issue has been ongoing since the Constitution was established in 1787. Congress was granted the power to conduct business whether interstate or International by the Constitution through the Commerce Clause. This phrase is one that the ordinary American knows nothing about, but the Commerce Clause has been around for many years and will certainly be around for many more (Bill of Rights Institute, 2013).
With the passing of the 14th Amendment in 1868, as well as the 16th and 17th Amendments in the following century, the structure of the Republic was changed. States powers were lessened, and the power was shifted to the Federal Government (Bill of Rights Institute, 2013; Williams, 2007).
But the commerce clause; just what is the Commerce Clause? Well, the commerce clause is found in the Constitution; Article I, section 8, which states…. “Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the Indian Tribes” (U.S. Constitution, 1787). Also mentioned from a Supreme Court case, the case of Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824, which states that Congress has the power to regulate how commerce is to be governed. As such, that applies to interstate commerce (Bill of Rights Institute, 2013).
Now, most folks know that we trade between nations and we also know about interstate trade or commerce. We see large 18 wheelers going down the highway every day, carrying their cargo to their destinations. So we see Business in motion. But as far as the Commerce Clause is concerned, most people wouldn’t have a clue as to what this might be. It seems that the Commerce Clause is important for many reasons and in so many ways.
Another case involving the Supreme Court and the Commerce Clause occurred in 1918, involving Hammer v Dagenhart, 1918.(Bill of rights Institute, 2013) The court ruled that the Federal Government could not outlaw child labor laws in manufacturing situations where the process was held in one state and didn’t cross state lines. The Court didn’t agree that the Federal Government could legislate on this issue.
But the Court did make mention that the tenth (10th) Amendment left this power to the States (Bill of Rights Institute, 2013). The...