‘Federal Government Increasingly Dominates State Governments in the Usa.’ Discuss.

1310 Words Mar 13th, 2013 6 Pages
A2 politics Jess Waldron
‘Federal government increasingly dominates state governments in the USA.’ Discuss

The United States of America have a federal constitution, where the President of the United States, Congress, and the judiciary share powers, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments. This is the stark opposite to the unitary system in the UK where sovereignty lies in parliament and some powers are given to local assemblies. There are many types of federalism; all have been a dominant influence in the American political system at some point due to the style of leadership brought in by each new presidential candidate. Throughout U.S. history, the division of power between the federal
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Through the 1940s the states had kept the responsibility for governing the rights of its citizens. Therefore, to protect individual rights from state abuses, the Supreme Court began “issuing decisions limiting state powers related to freedoms of speech and religion, due process rights to fair trials, and equal protection of the law”. The Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) barred racial segregation policies in public schools and brought local school districts under federal oversight. A 1965 ruling in South Carolina v. Katzenbach upheld the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that prohibited state-established voting requirements. Also in 1965, the protection of privacy from state powers was recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) setting the basis for abortion rights.
On the other hand, New federalism came into effect in the latter half of the twentieth century due to the southern white resentment against the role of Washington in bringing an end to segregation in the 50’s and 60’s. Over taxation, voter apathy and over regulation from federal government also added to this umbrage from the citizens of America. New federalism was promoted by republican presidents, most notably Richard Nixon (1969-1974) and Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) to address the growing disillusionment between citizens and federal government. It gave power back to the states and reversed federal dominance somewhat by

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