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Politics of the United States
American Politics CP Chapter 3 Vocabulary Words
Terms in this set (28)
A way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government share formal authority over the same area and people
A central government that holds supreme power in a nation. Most national governments today are unitary governments
The entire set of interactions among national, state, and local governments including regulations, transfers of funds, and the sharing of information that constitute the workings of the federal system
The clause in Article VI of the Constitution that makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws as long as the national government is acting within its constitutional limits
The Constitution amendment stating,"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
McCulloch v. Maryland
An 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments. In deciding this case, Chief Justice John Marshall and his colleagues held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to the enumerated powers found in the Constitution.
Powers at the federal government that are listed explicitly in the Constitution. For example, Article I. Section 8, specially gives Congress the power to coin money and regulate its value and impose taxes
Powers of the federal governments that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution, in accordance with the statement in the Constitution that Congress has the power to 'make all laws necessary and power for carrying into execution" the powers enumerated in Article I
The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which authorized Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers
Gibbons vs. Ogden
A landmark case decided in 1824 in which the Supreme Court interpreted very broadly the clause in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce as encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
full faith and credit
A clause in Article IV of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of all other states.
A legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
The provision of the Constitution according citizens of each state the privileges of citizens of any state in which they happen to be
A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each with different powers and policy responsibilities
A system of government in which states and the national share powers and policy assignments
Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal government to state and local governments.
The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments.
Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes, or "categories," of state and local spending. They come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions.
Federal grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations
federal categorical grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations
a series of programs and projects instituted during the Great Depression by President Franklin Roosevelt that aimed to restore prosperity to Americans
Federal categorical grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of applications
Define Federalism and contrast it with alternative ways or organizing a nation?
Federalism is way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government have formal authority over the same area and people. Federal systems are more decentralized than unitary systems but less so than confederations.
Characterize the types of nations typically associated with federalism. Nations that have federal systems are few in number. The 11 countries of the world that are, like the United States, Federations share only one common characteristic: All are democracies. In terms of the size and diversity of their populations, some of world's 11 federations have large and diverse populations; some do not. Some are geographically large, but others are quite small.
Characterize the shift from dual to cooperative federalism and the role of fiscal federalism in intergovernmental relations today.
States no longer have exclusive responsibility for government functions within their sphere but instead share these responsibilities with the federal government. Through categorical and block grants, the federal government provides state and local governments with substantial portions of their budgets, and it uses this leverage to influence policy by attaching conditions to receiving the grants. Sometimes Washington mandates state policy without providing the resources to implement the policy.
Explain the consequences of federalism for diversity in public policies among the states.
Federalism allows for considerable diversity among the states in their policies. This constitutional arrangement facilitates state innovations in policy, and it allows states to move beyond the limits of national policy. However, federalism also leaves states dependent upon the resources within their borders to finance public services, and it may discourage states from providing some services.
Outline of the Constitution basis of federalism for the division of power between national and state governments, the establishment of national supremacy, and state's obligations to each other.
The Constitution divides power between the national (federal) government and state governments and makes the national government supreme within its sphere. The national government has implied as well as enumerated powers, as McCulloch V. Maryland made clear. The civil war also helped establish the preeminence of the national government, and over the years the Supreme Court has interpreted these powers particularly Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce broadly, as Washington has taken on more responsibilities to deal with matters such as the economy and civil rights. States have obligations to give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and civil judicial proceedings of other states, return a person charged with a crime in another state to that state, and accord citizens of other states the privileges and communities enjoyed by their own citizens.
Understanding Federalism Assess the impact of federalism on democratic government and the scope of government.
On the positive side, Federalism provides for effective representation of local interests, reduces conflict at the national level, encourages politicians and political parties to peacefully accept losing elections, and increases the opportunities for citizens to participate in government and see their policy preferences reflected in law.
On the negative side, Federalism increases the opportunities for local interests to the art nations policy, can result in the election of a president not favored by a majority of the public, and complicates efforts to make government responsive.
The national government has grown in response to the demands of Americans for public services, it can best provide, but it has not in any way supplanted the states.
Recommended textbook explanations
United States Government: Principles in Practice
Luis Ricardo Fraga
Magruder's American Government
William A. McClenaghan
United States Government: Democracy In Action
Richard C. Remy
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