State and federal government?

What are the advantages of Federalism for the state and federal government??

I am studying for my political science class and I am confused can someone please help!!!!

Thanks in advance

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    James Madison, in The Federalist No. 45, maintained that the powers of a federal government are “few and defined” and extend “principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce,” whereas the powers reserved to the states are “numerous and indefinite” and “extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” In The Federalist No. 46, Madison reiterated the separation of powers doctrine by stating that the “Federal and State Governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, instituted with different powers, and designated for different purposes.”

    Thomas Jefferson described the Tenth Amendment as “the foundation of the Constitution” and added, “to take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn … is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.”

    Madison also said:

    "If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."

    If it involves external matters like war, treaties, international trade agreements, or states erecting barriers to trade between themselves hindering the ability of their citizens to trade with each other - the federal government has the Constitutional jurisdiction. Everything else falls to the states and people. The more local the government, the more responsive it is to individual needs and the more responsible it is to the will of its citizens. Further, funding of local needs is best allocated with local money by local representatives.

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