Federal Government


Federal Government Essay, Research Paper

How does the constitution divide power between the national government and the states?

The constitution did not give the national government or the states total supremacy. Instead, power was distributed. The national government was given certain express powers, while some powers were reserved to the states. The main idea was to give both the national government and the states certain responsibilities and the powers needed to achieve them. In order to achieve this some powers are shared by both.

Powers of the National Government

The constitution gives the national government many specific powers and responsibilities. They have the power to:

1. Coin money and currency

2. Conduct foreign relations

3. Make treaties

4. Regulate foreign and interstate commerce

5. Provide and army and navy

6. Declare War

7. Establish Post Offices

8. Protect Patent and copyrights

9. Regulate weights and measures

10. Admit new states

11. Make laws necessary and proper to carrying out specifically delegated powers

Powers that are reserved to the States

The States have many powers that are specific to them. They include:

1. Establish local governments

2. Regulate trade within states

3. Conduct elections

4. Ratifying amendments to the constitution

5. Exercising any powers not granted exclusively to the national government or denied by the states.

Concurrent powers

Both the national government and the states share some powers. This was necessary in order for both to achieve their responsibilities. These are:

1. Taxing

2. Borrowing money

3. Establishing courts

4. Chartering banks

5. Spending for the general welfare

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