Power Allocation of Government in U.S.


Topic: Explain which powers are allocated to the states and which powers to the federal government. How could this system of federalism be improved? How? Explain.


Journal Assignment #2

The Founders of this country did have other options such as unitary and confederal in choosing a government type. Before the U.S. Constitution, Americans gave confederal government a shoot but it did not work, because “one could hardly expect the state legislatures to take enlightened views on national affairs.”[1] Unitary government seemed not capable of comforting citizens had been living in a country with confederal governments whereby the state governments at least took care of their own. Then the Founders opted to have an enhanced constitution on which a powerful and forceful central government has been counting from then on.

The U.S. Constitution created such a federalism, which has been operating like a set of even chairs, a central government known as federal government deals with affairs affect this whole country and bunch of state governments take care of their own internal issues. The U.S. Constitution allocates expressed powers and implied powers to the federal government for the sake of this country’s independency and wealth, while the states and people keep the unallocated powers. In addition, to ensure the federal government it can truly executes given powers, the U.S. Constitution went furthermore by setting the Supremacy Clause[2]. Interestingly, the federal government and the states governments do share a few concurrent powers.

In my point of view, I think diversity is one of the most important elements that had led this relatively young country to be great, powerful and free. Giving more rights to the state governments so that the local governments can do more for their residents is one of improvement of federalism, which I suppose, should be done. For example, as a foreigner with limited knowledge of the United States’ health care legal issues, I suppose allowing state governments and the residents opt in or out a designated health care plan can be a better idea, and I do not quite understand why people with unique demands and backgrounds from different states be governed by a forceful federal law.

By saying more rights to the state governments, I am not meaning powers and rights like defense right, army and those really affect the entire country. History has been teaching us not only to enjoy being an individual but also to stand together and fight together when dangers come.


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China Bar Association; Current GWU Law Student; A man had cried at midnight.

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