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What constitutional

concept is highlighted in
Forest Gump?
Watch the video clip!

• Governor of Alabama
George Wallace refusing
to desegregate the
University of Alabama
pursuant to federal law
in 1963.
• The National Guard was
forced to intervene and
enforce federal orders.
• The scene exemplifies
the conflict that existed
between the state of
Alabama and the
national government.
Enquiry Question:
How does the federal-state relationship work?
Learning Outcomes
• To understand the constitutional basis of
federalism and the powers of the federal and
state governments
• To explain the relationship between the
federal government and the states
• To examine examples of the impact of
federalism
The word “federalism” does not exist in the constitution,
but the concept of federalism is clearly evident if you
look a little closer…

Federalism

Using a digital/print copy


of the US Constitution,
find evidence of the
concept of federalism.
Where is federalism in
the constitution?
The list of powers
granted to and YOUR TASK:
denied to the Read the excerpts from the
Congress in Constitution on the worksheet.
Article I, and the Label each power;
powers reserved
by the 10th • E if it represents an enumerated
Amendment of power (granted to the Federal
the U.S. government)
Constitution serve • D if it is a denied power
as an outline of • R if it is a reserved power
Federalism.
Exclusive powers of the Concurrent or shared Exclusive powers of the state
national government powers government
• Print money (bills • Setting up courts • Establish local governments
and coins) • Creating and collecting • Issue licenses (driver,
• Declare war taxes hunting, marriage, etc.)
• Establish an army • Building highways • Regulate intrastate (within
and navy • Borrowing money the state) commerce
• Enter into treaties • Making and enforcing • Conduct elections
with foreign laws • Ratify amendments to the
governments • Chartering banks and U.S. Constitution
• Regulate commerce corporations • Provide for public health
between states and • Spending money for and safety
international trade the betterment of the • Exercise powers neither
• Establish post general welfare delegated to the national
offices and issue • Taking (condemning) government or prohibited
postage private property with from the states by the
• Make laws just compensation U.S.Constitution (For
necessary to example, setting legal
enforce the drinking and smoking ages.)
Constitution
Where is federalism in
the constitution?
Discussion Questions:
• Which clause of Article I, Section 8 do you think
has the greatest influence on the discussion of
federalism?
• Why could the strongest case be made for this
clause?
• The Tenth Amendment does not list any specific
powers. What does that mean?
• In what ways might the Tenth Amendment
influence the interpretation of the Enumerated
Powers?
Learning Outcomes
• To understand the constitutional basis of
federalism and the powers of the federal and
state governments
• To explain the relationship between the
federal government and the states
• To examine examples of the impact of
federalism
Think back to Alabama
and George Marshall…
• What did the state
want?
• What did the federal
government want?
• Which level of
government
prevailed?
• Why?
• Where in the
constitution is there a
basis for this?
The Supremacy Clause (Article 6, Clause 2) in the Constitution
establishes the Constitution and United States laws as the “supreme
Law of the Land.”

US Constitution

Acts of Congress & Treaties

State Constitutions

However, state
State statute law and local
governments
operate in a
similar way. Read
City Order the hand-out to
explain how.
Sometimes only the federal government or the states legislate on an
issue. However, sometimes both states and the federal legislate on
the same issues. So who legislates on the following areas?

• Declare war on another country


• Decide what is ‘discrimination’ and pass
laws against it
• Decide if, when and how the death
penalty is applied
• Decide who qualifies to vote and how
voting takes place
• Defines marriage
• Defines crimes
• Decides the speed limit
• Decides if, when and who can access
abortion
• Organises and oversees the police force
Learning Outcomes
• To understand the constitutional basis of
federalism and the powers of the federal and
state governments
• To explain the relationship between the
federal government and the states
• To examine examples of the impact of
federalism
Federalism in Action
• The balance of power and authority between the Federal
government and the states has shifted at different times in
American history.
• New legislation can grant new authority or responsibility to
Federal, state, or local government.
• Using the worksheet, we are going to examine two famous
pieces of legislation that shifted the balance of authority
between the Federal government and the states during the
20th century.
• Each example reflects an interpretation of the relationship
between state and Federal governments at one time.
• Balancing Federal and state powers is a complex process, and
the balance of power has shifted at different times in
American history.
Federalism in Action

Social Security Voting Rights


Act 1935 Act 1965
EXAMPLE: How does
federalism affect sex?
“…crossing a state boundary can involve ‘stepping into another moral
universe’. Oral sex for example, was illegal in 15 of the 50 states as late as
1999. Adultery remained a crime in 24 of them. Eight states had prohibited
the sale, though not the use of ‘marital aids’. Thirty-three states had no
statute relating to fornication, but in 17 it was considered a misdemeanour
or felony. Incest was a felony in 48 states but only a misdemeanour in
Virginia and did not even merit a statute in Rhode Island. Prostitution was
only a misdemeanour in most states but the strongest condemnatory
language in American sex law was reserved for sodomy, although 23 states
had no statutes at all pertaining to the practice. Theoretically the state of
Alabama allows sex with donkeys and corpses (no law exists against either
bestiality or necrophilia), but punishes oral sex between husbands and
wives.”
Robert Singh, American Government & Politics p243
Learning Outcomes
• To understand the constitutional basis of
federalism and the powers of the federal and
state governments
• To explain the relationship between the
federal government and the states
• To examine examples of the impact of
federalism
How and why is federalism
enshrined in the Constitution?
Federalism is the separation of the structure of government into two more or less
autonomous layers, and the powers of each are entrenched in the constitution. The
term ‘federalism’ is not mentioned in the constitution, but the role of the states in
US government is established in the constitution principally by:
• equal representation of each state in the Senate
• the Electoral College for electing the president
• state boundaries cannot be changed without states’ consent
• the constitution can only be amended with the consent of ¾ of the state
legislatures
• the tenth amendment reserves to the states all those powers not explicitly
delegated to the central government
The framers of the constitution wished to establish a political system which
protected the role of the states, as the founders of the new country, and to create a
central government strong enough to pull the country together into a functioning
whole. Thus, both were granted significant powers within a federal system.
Homework
Application Task:
Explain how and why federalism is enshrined in
the Constitution.
Flipped Learning Presentation Task:
Reading and Note Taking:
Extent of democracy within the Constitution
(Pearson p332-334)
Stretch & Challenge Task
The Federalist Papers