Federalism is a basic provision of the U. The founding fathers included this principal in their outline for the nation's government in order to prevent a single centralized power from becoming overbearing. However, although at the time the Constitution was written federalism seemed like the answer to a number of problems, it does not always work in today's modern world.
Federalism, which come from the Latin foedus or "covenant", is: one, the philosophy that describes the governmental system created by the Framers, and two, the sharing of power between the states and the national government (Marshall, 2). When the government was formed in 1787, the Constitution delegated limited or enumerated powers to the national government. Some of these enumerated powers granted included the right to coin money, conduct foreign relations and declare war. The Necessary and Proper clause also reserved any additional "implied powers" that the national government may deem necessary to carry out its enumerated powers. Four years later when the bill of rights was ratified, all remaining powers were granted to the states. Such state responsibilities include police power, managing budgets and enforcing laws in policy areas (Marshall 2). Other powers, such as taxation, establishing courts and chartering banks and corporations are powers shared by both powers. Ultimately, due to the way that the Framers designed the government, both the state and national powers are directly accountable to the people.
Worldwide, government has been divided into three basic types: unitary, confederate and federal. Unitary is the most prevalent. In this system, the vast majority of power is held at the national level and very little is left to the small political subdivisions. An obvious example of a unitary government system is that of Great Britain. Confederations are the least popular type of government. In a confederation, all states are equal and there is some power held at the national level.