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Should Power Be Transferred from the Federal Government to the States?

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Lianne Aldred

Introduction to Politics

Mr. Jason Carter

"Should Power be Transferred from the Federal Government to the States?"

Historically, there has been a long standing controversy whether power should be transferred from the Federal Government to the States. Although supporters of the Federal Government having power (Federalists) believed in a stronger national government because they felt the states were too weak to protect the country and the government wasn't working correctly, people that opposed the Constitution (Anti-Federalists) felt the new government defeated the purpose of their involvement in making decisions for the people they were closest too. They were worried that a strong national government would weaken the powers of the state government, and take away the rights of the people.

In April 1775, the Declaration of Independence was introduced and American Colonists believed their rights would be protected while they remained a part of the British Empire. When they found this to be untrue, colonists decide they would have to become independent from Great Britain if their rights were to be upheld. In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation were developed and accepted by the thirteen states in 1781. Under the Articles of Confederation, each state retained its' independence and had one vote in Congress. The Articles of Confederation made it clear that the United States was not to have a true national government but was to be governed by the states. The people of the 13 states did not want a strong national government. They felt that a strong national government might try to limit the powers and freedoms of the individual states.

After the Revolutionary War, the power of the Articles of Confederation and the thirteen states weakened. Men who had left their farms to fight came home to find themselves in debt and no money. Many of the leaders of the revolution, such as George Washington, believed a stronger national government was imperative. As a result, in 1787, Congress asked the states to send representatives to a meeting in Philadelphia to discuss what could be done to improve the national government and from this emerged a new Constitution.

The framers of the Constitution agreed that the national government had to be given the highest power. They also believed that the state governments had to be given enough powers to manage their own affairs; hence, they created a new federal system of government. In this system, the powers of government are divided between the national government and the state governments.

After the Constitution was completed, it was sent to the states for approval. Each state held a special convention with delegates to vote on the Constitution. At this point, people divided into two groups over whether to accept or to reject the Constitution. Supporters of the Constitution were known as the Federalists. People

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