Government 2301 Modem

September 1998

Unit 1 - Lecture 6

Federalism

  1. Federalism is a form of government in which the states and a national government share powers and duties. Be sure that you can distinguish this form of government from unitary and confederal systems of government which were the earlier forms of government in this country.
  2. In a federal system, there is often controversy over which level of government should perform particular tasks. The powers of each level of government is also controversial in a federal system. In the history of the United States, the national government has gotten involved in issues that, generally, would be considered the authority of the states. One of these issues was breaking down the system of racial segregation in the South. Southern states refused to act on this issue. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the issue. When the states refused to abide by these rulings the federal executive office did get involved by sending in federal troops to aid with the desegregation of the public schools. You should be familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. Other areas in which the federal courts have gotten involved in controversial issues that originated in the states. Review the issues of prison conditions in Texas (Ruiz v. Estelle) and abortion (Roe v. Wade.)
  3. The federal government also may issue a mandate, in which the lower level of government (the states or a local level of government) is directed to take certain actions. The examples of federal mandates in your Texas textbook are excellent ones. As a result of the passage of the ADA and the Brady Law, states, cities, and other local governments have been forced to take certain actions to ensure compliance. Again, you should be familiar with the ADA, the Brady Law, and the implications of each.

4. When a new federal program is established it must go through two steps to become fully operational. The first step is authorization. In this step, the program is created. In the appropriations process, money for operating the program is allocated In this section of the Texas book, there is a description of the various federal grant programs. Be sure that you are able to describe each type of program and explain how they differ from one another.

This is the last essay in Unit 1. Use the study questions in the newsletter (in the course library on this bulletin board) and let me know if you have any questions about the materials.

The exam will have 25 multiple-choice questions, plus 2 bonus multiple-choice questions, 5 short answer questions and 2 essays from which you will choose 1 to answer.

Read: Tannahill, Chapter 3

Schmidt, Chapter 3

Dialogue of Democracy, pp. 199-201, and 108-112

You should be finished with all the readings in Unit One.