The Changing Relationship of the Federal Government and the States

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The Changing Relationship of the Federal Government and the States

One of the biggest issues that divided the framers of the constitution was the role of Federal government in relation to the states. Eventually federal and state government were given separate powers, and the responsibility of checking on each other.

The doctrine of nullification saw power to the states with a limited federal government. Since then different powers have swayed between state and federal governments, on balance the federal government has come out on top.

A case example in 1816 where Martin v. Hunter's Lessee, saw that the judges of the Supreme Court of Virginia asserted that they had the power to decide
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F. Roosevelt set-up alphabet agencies and grant-in-aid schemes. This created a huge expansion of federal and state government. FDR's new deal entailed a shift of some responsibility to the federal government, for the reform of banking and finance to relief economic hardship.

Although there was wide spread support of FDR's proposals, the Supreme Court declared some of his most important policies as an unconstitutional expansion of presidential authority, such as The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1033, which was struck down in Scheichter v. US (1935) and the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1933 in US v. Butler (1936)

FDR threatened the court with his Court Packing Plan, which helped him secure further policies such as the National Labour Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin (1937) this became considered a turning point in the federal state relations, for the first time the Federal government was allowed to intervene in state affairs. This period became known as Co-operative Federalism.

Later in the 1960's the federal government took on new responsibilities, such as social and welfare issues, known as Presidents Johnson's Great Society, involving increased welfare provision through Medicaid and Medicare, his vision was an America, free of socials

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