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AP Gov



Unit 1

1.9 Federalism in Action

2 min readmay 1, 2020


Annika Tekumulla

AP US Government 🏛️

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As we've discussed, the idea of federalism is engrained into American democracy. The Constitution lays out powers that are reserved for the federal government, and the Bill of Rights ensures that state governments also have a level of autonomy in decision-making.
That's exactly what federalism ⚖️ is: the splitting of power between state and national governments.

How Federalism Actually Works

By incorporating the three branches of government as well as the national and state government, policymaking becomes a very lengthy and complex process 🧐. However, this is how the framers of the Constitution 📜 intended it to be.
By making discussion between multiple parts of the government necessary for policymaking it makes sure that no one branch is overpowering the others. Also, it ensures that the people’s opinion is taken into consideration by limiting the power that the government has.
The people have a chance for their voices to be heard at each level of government. They vote for representatives at the local, city, state, and national level and can write them letters 📨, call their offices, or speak to them at town-halls. If none of those actions work, they can vote for a different candidate and replace that representative.
As we discussed, policy-making is an important aspect of federalism. Here's an example of federalism in action:
The EPA has restrictions to prevent air pollution 😷 and operate as part of the executive branch, but the state of California is allowed to have restrictions that are tougher and enforce those at the state level.
🎥 Watch: AP GOPO - Introduction to Federalism


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🏛Unit 1: Foundations of American Democracy
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