How and why is federalism enshrined in the US Constitution? Essay examples

2092 Words Dec 10th, 2013 9 Pages
How and why is federalism enshrined in the Constitution? (15 marks)
Federalism is the system of government in which power is dispersed between central and state governments, each level of government having different responsibilities.
Article four of the constitution is devoted to outlining the federal-state government relationship. Section one states that all states will honour all of the other states laws; this ensures that a marriage in Florida is also considered marriage in Arizona. Similarly, section two guarantees that citizens of one state are treated fairly and equally like all citizens of other states. For example, it enshrines that a person fleeing a crime from a state with certain punishments, shall be returned by another
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constitution; “provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States’ and to make all “necessary and proper laws”. The generalisation in these terms has led Article 1, Section 8 to be labelled as the ‘elastic clause’ of the Constitution. These terms don’t mention anything specific which has led them to be widely interpreted and argued over.
The constitution has without doubt changed since its ratification in 1788, but because the Founding Fathers’ foresaw the necessity for change. They realised that it had to be designed to live and grow as the nation grows, which indeed it has and is evident in the fact that it is a global superpower and is home to the world’s currency reserve. Article 5 is a living testament to this as a sign that the Philadelphia convention delegates knew that it would have to change with the times. This article reserved the responsibility of amending the constitution to congress and the states’ providing both could deliver a ‘super majority’. Only 27 amendments to the constitution have ever been ratified (including the 10 in the Bill of Rights), demonstrating the religious nature of the constitution. Apart from the abolition of slavery, no subsequent amendments to the constitution have dramatically changed its nature. This demonstrates the almost religious nature of the constitution-changed so few times as to protect its power and standing in the

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