Federalism And How It Relates to National and State Sovereignty

  1. Define federalism and discuss how it relates to national and state sovereignty. What are the similarities and differences today’s version and that was established in 1787?

Federalism is defined as a government principle that describes the relationship between the federal government at the local, state, or regional levels, and at the national level. Under federalism, authority and power is allocated between the local and national units of the government. Each unit of the local and national government is delegated a sphere of authority and power only if it is able to accomplish them. Authority and power that cannot be exercised by individual units must be shared (Katz, 1997). Federalism relates to national and state sovereignty on the sense that, all powers that are not granted to the central government are believed to belong to the people or the state. Ideally, federalism emphasizes the need to preserve all in the possible authority and power in the central government, the state, and the people to ensure national and personal freedom (Coffey, 2011).

There are some similarities and differences between today’s version of federalism and that which was established in 1787. The two versions of federalism are similar in the sense that, they both describe how power and authority is delegated between the federal, state, and local government (Katz, 1997). However, the role played by all the three governments, federal, state, and local governments differ in the two versions of federalism. Today, all the three governments play more important roles in the lives of United States citizens that the version that was established in 1787. In addition, the relations between the federal, state, and local governments have become more complex in today’s federalism as compared to the simple relations in the version of federalism that was established in 1787 (Coffey, 2011).


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