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Block grants

federal funds given to the states in lump sums

categorical grants

federal grants for specific purposes, such as building an airport

Commerce clause

Clause stating that Congress can regulate interstate and international commerce.

Concurrent Powers

powers that are shared by both the federal and state governments

Confederal System

an organization of states in which the states keep most of the power

Cooperative federalism

The situation in which the national, state, and local levels work together to solve problems.


the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states

dual federalism

The doctrine that both state and national governments are supreme in their respective spheres

Elastic Clause

a clause that allows Congress to stretch the use of its powers when needed

Enumerated Powers

powers given to the national government alone

Federal mandate

A federal order imposed upon the states to meet a goal of the federal government

Interstate compact

an agreement between two or more states

Picket-fence federalism

a model of federalism in which specific programs and policies involve all levels of government

Police power

state power to enact laws promoting health, safety, and morals

Supremacy Clause

federal law is supreme over state law; law of the land

Unitary system

a government that gives all key powers to the national or central government

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