Our Federal System of Government
Standard(s) of Learning
||The student will demonstrate knowledge of the federal system described in the Constitution of the United States by
||explaining the relationship of the state governments to the national government;
||describing the extent to which power is shared;
||identifying the powers denied state and national governments;
||examining the ongoing debate that focuses on the balance of power between state and national governments.
Using the following information, analyze how the Constitution of the United States of America provides for a federal system of government in which power is shared between the states and the national government:
• The Constitution of the United States of America establishes a federal form of government in which the national government is supreme.
• The powers not given to the national government by the Constitution of the United States of America are reserved to the states or people.
Identify powers of national government
• Expressed powers—Powers directly stated in the Constitution of the United States of America, such as the power to levy and collect taxes, make war, and regulate trade among the states
• Implied powers—Powers reserved by the national government but not specifically listed; source for implied powers is the elastic clause or “necessary and proper” clause (Article I, Sec. 8)
• Inherent powers—Powers that the national government may exercise simply because it is the national government, such as establishment of diplomatic relations and regulation of immigration
Identify areas where powers are shared
• Education policy
• Criminal justice laws
Explain the conflicts between the state and national authority in a federal system are found in concurrently held powers.
Identify powers denied to both the national and state governments
• Ex post facto laws
• Tax on exports
Explain the federalism is not a static relationship between levels of government. The distribution of power between the states and the national government is the source of considerable political debate.
Below is an annotated list of Internet resources for this organizing topic. Copyright restrictions may exist for the material on some Web sites. Please note and abide by any such restrictions.
“The Constitution: Limiting Governmental…” Pearson-Prentice Hall. <http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_dye_politics_5/0%2C7238%2C445356-%2C00.html>. This article provides a history of the U.S. Constitution and limits on federal authority.
“Exclusive Powers of the National Government and State Government.” Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids. <http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/government/federalism2.html>. This site provides information on the exclusive and concurrent powers of national and state governments.
“Ex Post Facto.” Legal Information Institute. <http://www.law.cornell.edu/lexicon/ex_post_facto.htm>. This site provides definitions and overviews of legal cases related ex post facto laws.
“Landmark Cases, Supreme Court.” Street Law & The Supreme Court Historical Society. <http://www.landmarkcases.org/mcculloch/fedimpliedpowers.html>. This site provides information on the implied powers of the United States Government and a discussion of McCulloch v. Maryland.
“Thomas: Legislative Information on the Internet.” The Library of Congress. <http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php>. This site provides access to information on the governmental process.
“U.S. Constitution: Article VI.” FindLaw. <http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article06/>. This article presents an in-depth examination of the Supremacy Clause.