The United States was founded for the sole reason of the people being free of Kingman or rulers that took away their rights and liberties. As a solid democracy began to formed, many aristocrats that spoke for the elite and others that spoke for the common man were entangled in a weaponless war where the fight for the balance of power between a central (national) government, and their governments of the states. The balance of power is more than the weighing of interests, it is the balance of the state governments and the federal government that both have vested interests in the formation and direction of the United States. The struggle of power between the two entities has clearly lasted from the founding until the present day being argued in the Supreme Court. The result was the formation of the Constitution that represents the federal powers and the Bill of Rights that expresses individual rights. The Bill of Rights sought to protect the individual against abuses of the power of government, even if the government had the support of the majority.” (Volkomer 9) This essay will provide a look at how powers of the federal and state governments are balanced under the Constitution, and how the American federalism has evolved overtime to describe how the balance of power has changed from the founding to how it is today.
American federalism encompasses a series of political power relationships between the state and federal governments. Serious struggles among executive, legislative, and the judicial arms of government occurred after the civil war when dual federalism emerged. Dual federalism describes a political ideology whereby power is shared between national and state governments under legislated agreements such as a constitution. Therefore, states are given unique executive, legislative and judicial powers (Shelden, 2009).