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Unit 1

1.9 Federalism in Action

2 min readโ€ขmay 1, 2020

Annika Tekumulla


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 โš–๏ธ 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 ๐Ÿง. However, this is how the framers of the Constitution ๐Ÿ“œ 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 peopleโ€™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 ๐Ÿ“จ, 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 ๐Ÿ˜ท 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.

๐ŸŽฅ Watch: AP GOPO - Introduction to Federalism

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Unit 2: Interactions Among Branches of Government

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Unit 5: Political Participation

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