There are three major types of government in place in the world today. They are unitary, confederal, and federalism. Unitary is the most widely used in the world today. In a unitary system, power is held at the national level, with very minimal power being held in political subdivisions, such as provinces, counties, parishes, or towns. The least common is the confederation. Confederations are units of equal states, with some power being held at the national level. Most of the time conflicting interests lead to the breakdown of confederations. The third major system of government is the federal system. Federalism is the division and recognition of power between federal and state governments. The national government holds significant power, but the smaller political subdivisions also hold significant power. The United States, Canada, Austrailia, and Brazil are examples of federal systems. Whether one is better than the other is a matter of opinion. Each has its positives and negatives, and the choice for which to use in any nation depends on the nation, its people, its existing political subdivisions. The United States was a series of colonies under the British unitary system; upon the execution of the Revolution, the United States became a confederation under the Articles of Confederation and when that system proved unsuccessful, it was transformed into a federal system by the Constitution.
Federal systems are chosen for a number of reasons. These may include the size of the nation or the diversity of the political subdivisions. The United States combines a bit of both: the size of the continental United States made a unitary system impossible, and the diverse interests of the states made confederation impossible. This made federalism the only logical choice. The Articles of Confederation of 1781 among the thirteen American states fighting British rule had established a center too weak for law enforcement, defense, and for securing interstate commerce.