An Overview Of Federal System Of Government

“Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided between a national (federal) government and various state governments” (USLegal). Throughout the history of the United States, federal system has played an important role in constitution. The federal system has also changed a lot during the America’s history to fit the country and to benefit the people. Federal system used to be described as a Layered cake and each layer referees to one section of government. However, now it is described as a marble cake where the different layers and different powers mixed together (89). Federal System works well for a large country like the United states. Sharing power is the main idea in the federal system. The national government takes care of the big things like, war with other countries. On the other hands, the state government takes care of other things like, licenses or education. The whole point will be that the Federalism describe how People in The United States live under two level of government which are the federal government, and the state government.

The national government and the state government have separate powers but also, they share a lot of powers which called the concurrent powers. National powers also called either enumerated or expressed powers. These enumerated powers were listed in the Constitution in Article I, section 8,9,10 which stated that the congress should have power to lay and collect taxes. Coin money, supreme court and establish post office are also duties that the congress has a power to do. It provide an army and navy due to the power on the war with other countries. Furthermore, and the most important one is that all laws necessary and proper to carry out responsibilities.

The state powers refer to the reserved powers. Which mean if the constitution didn’t apply some powers or duties to the National government than the power will go automatically to the state government. The power of the state of government are, regulating intrastate commerce, establish local government, and conducting elections. It also provides for public health, safety, welfare and morals. The concurrent powers which is common between the state and national government. They both have a power on taxes, lawmaking, barrow money, establish court, and take property for public purpose.

There are many advantage and disadvantage of the federalism or federal system. The main advantages of federalism are. Among the merits of federalism are that it promotes policy innovation and political participation and accommodates diversity of opinion which means that Federalism keeps government closer to people. Another advantage of federalism is that because federal system allows local preferences to be reflected in laws and policies it is a system of government that arguably reduces conflict. The last one that it allows for good deal of policy innovation. On the other hand, it has many disadvantages such as, increase complexity and confusion, increase conflict, duplication of services, and reduce accountability.

To sum up, Federalism is a complex network and relationships between national government and state government. The power is divided between these two government. Each one has its own power and responsibilities. Nevertheless, there are some duties that are common between these government called the concurrent powers. The National government has the power on money part like bills and coins etc. it also has the power on war, postal office. The state government has the powers on the local governments such as, driving licenses, education, health and elections. The sharing powers are. Both collect taxes, borrow money, and establishing court.


  • Krutz, Glen. American Government 2e.
  • USLegal ,