A QUESTION OF SOVEREIGNTY
When the Founders developed it, federalism was a unique form of government that attempted to divide sovereignty between two primary levels of government: the nation and the states. The national government is much stronger in a federal government than in a confederal government, but not as pervasive as in a unitary government. The American Founders justified the new government as a means of strengthening the ineffective national authority that had been created under the Articles of Confederation in a manner consistent with the ideas of separation of powers and checks and balances.
- Describe the characteristics and central strengths of confederal, federal, and unitary governments.
- Explain the factors that motivated the American founders to establish a federal form of government and identify the key arguments that they made.
- Identify the meaning of enumerated, implied, and reserved powers and their relationship with one another.
- Identify three periods of American history in terms of the relationships between state and federal powers that were recognized during each period.
- Describe how contemporary federalism has been characterized by both an expansion of and a contraction, or devolution, of national powers.
- Identify the manner in which the national government provides money to state and local government, and exercises at least limited control over how they spend these monies.
This title is part of the series: FRAMEWORK FOR DEMOCRACY
10 and up
Color and black-and-white