Difference Between Dual And Cooperative Federalism

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Federalism, which has been shaped by separation of powers and a two party electoral system, allows American citizens living in different parts of the country to be treated differently, allowing more opportunities to exist for participation in decision-making. Most American citizens favor the separation of powers because it keeps the national government in check. However, there are many policies in place that conflict with national and state government powers. The Tenth Amendment provides that the powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people; therefore, there should be more of an equal distribution of power. Since the founding of the constitution, which aimed to create a federal system of government, …show more content…
By definition, Dual Federalism is where “The national government is supreme in its sphere, the states are supreme in theirs, and the two spheres should be kept separate,” which is the ideal form of Federalism because it keeps the powers separate but equal (Wilson 3-1c). Overtime Federalism has changed from Dual to Cooperative because different policies have changed with different United States Presidents, for example President Roosevelts New Deal Program. The idea of Cooperative Federalism can be defined as, “the federal and state governments share power in many policy areas (Wilson 3-1c).” Other factors for this change could include the U.S. Constitution been amended twenty-seven times and social programs like Obamacare testing the boundaries of federal power. There has even been a push for a “Devolution Revolution,” attempting to return many functions to the states. But the controversial task has not been easy, since so many national responsibilities are now shared with the …show more content…
On the contrary, one example that does not follow this model is the legalization of Marijuana. Marijuana is illegal under Federal Law, but California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana and 19 other states have legalized some form of medicinal marijuana (Wilson 3-1). On the other hand, there are other instances that show that Federalism is compromised through the use of Federal Aid such as Grants, which influences state governments to shape their policies around the national government’s interest. This is how the national government has “gained” more power over the years, although in their eyes it is the federal government just working together with the states, hence Cooperative Federalism. “The federal system limits the ability of the federal government to use state governments as an instrument of the national government, as held in Printz v. United States (Wilson).” However, where Congress has the power to implement programs, there are certain incentives that encourage States to become the instruments of different national policies. Congress often seeks to exercise its powers by offering or encouraging States to implement national programs consistent with national minimum standards. If the States don’t follow the rules or conditions of that mandate, federal funding will be cut. For example,

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