Implications of Federalism Essay

One of the tenets of the American constitution is federalism. Although the term "federalism" is not stated in the American constitution, the idea is generally known. What are the consequences of federalism in the American constitution, and what are the favorable and unfavorable outcomes that result from it? Federalism has made provisions for inclusion and harmonious operations between these two systems based on the divide between the states and the federal government. The States predated the creation of the National government, according to history. For many years, there has been discussion about the relative importance of the state and the federal government. Federalism stands for the relationship that exists between the national and the state governments of the United States of America. The topic is the American constitution and federalism is the cornerstone of this understanding.

Introduction of federalism into the American constitution has eliminated the risks of tyranny in governing and protected the civil liberties of all citizens. Federalism provides for the separation of governing between the national government and the states(Hueglin & Fenna, 2015). The states existed before the formation of the national government, where they had the free will and liberty to operate and govern their constituents. The introduction of a federal government diffused this concentration of power on a single state and mediated the risks of tyranny arising from such cases. Setting up of legislative wings such as congress and senate which includes all the states provides for checks and balances(Hueglin & Fenna, 2015). The national government has separate roles from those of the state which provides for equality for all and a balance of power.

Federalism has provided for efficiency in operations in both levels of government. Division of power between the national and state governments provides each system with the resources and ability to solve problems. Decentralizing of power by the national government to the states provides the states with the ability to work and solve problems on their own(Robertson, 2017). This provides for efficiency since the state governments have a better understanding of the local issues in the state. Providing “cookie-cutter method” where national solutions are applied in a solving all arising problems based on the existing laws and policies by the national government has the possibility of providing solutions that are beneficial to selected states and ineffective in other states.

Inequalities in the allocation of resources among critical sectors is a possible set back to federalism. Funding for divisions such as education has been decentralized, and it is considered a state obligation to provide proper budget allocation(Robertson, 2017). Based on this, financing of education is not equal in among all the states. Some of the states tend to spend more or less of their budget in school programs as compared to the rest of the states in the country. It can cause a disparity in the education sector in the said state and an imbalance when compared to the rest of the states(Hueglin & Fenna, 2015). There is a correlation here of affecting the national government agenda in providing a balanced scale in the education sector based on the roles of the states which is as a result of federalism. This statement is in agreement with the statement provided which is the negative implications for federalism.

States have the autonomy to operate and govern themselves separate from the policies of the national government. This aspect can provide a hindrance to the implementation of the policies passed by the federal government that should affect all the states(Bowling & Pickerill, 2013). In presenting evidence to support this claim, the states take the national government to courts challenging some of the policies passed which affect their states regardless of the positive impact some of these policies have on other states. In other server cases, the states have resorted to server measures where they outright refuse to enforce these programs based on the freedom provided by federalism(Robertson, 2017). It is a clear implication of the adverse effects of federalism in the constitution.

One of the negative implications associated with federalism is the lack of accountability. Evidence to this effect exists in cases where there is failed policy and none of the two systems of government, state and national, is willing to take the blame. In this case, the national government usually blames the state for its failure to enforce the policies(Hueglin & Fenna, 2015). On the other hand, the state government channels its blame to the national government for any failed strategy especially in cases where taxpayer’s money has been wasted. The excuses passed by the state government revolves around claims of interference by the central government which hindered their effectiveness in executing their roles efficiently to the satisfaction of its constituents(Robertson, 2017). Demonstrating the role of federalism in the decentralizing of functions to the states opens a loophole for excuses in the cases of failure to meet the expectations of the citizens. The understanding is that federalism has a critical negative implication in this case where there is a difficulty in establishing a specific target in matters which involve both systems of government.


Bowling, C. J., & Pickerill, J. M. (2013). Fragmented federalism: The state of American federalism 2012–13. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 43(3), 315–346.

Hueglin, T. O., & Fenna, A. (2015). Comparative federalism: A systematic inquiry. University of Toronto Press.

Robertson, D. B. (2017). Federalism and the Making of America. Routledge.

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price