Federalism Essay 1
One of the most important concepts that I want students to learn and understand in this class is federalism. There are a few reasons. One is that I have an alarming number of students in Texas Government who do not understand that Texas has its own governmental system. For example, I had an assignment where I asked students to find their Texas representatives and write about what committees they are on or what bills they are pushing. Inevitable, I have several students that write about Cruz or Cornyn, who are Texas’s U.S. Senators. Because of the trajectory of our political history, it seems that no one considers the state’s role in our national system. Therefore, I think it is important to explore and write about federalism. Understanding this is understanding how our government operates, which is more important than talking about how a bill is passed and when a president can veto a bill. There are three basic ways to distribute political authority within a country. In a unitary system, like France or Great Britain, all power and authority rests with the national government, and state and local governments have only those powers specifically granted them by the national government. A confederal system, like the United States under the Articles of Confederation, allocates all power to the constituent parts, with the national government having only those powers specifically granted it by the states. The American system of federalism represents a third way to distribute political authority within a country. For your essay, describe the American system of federalism. How does the separation of powers relate to federalism in the United States? Be sure to provide examples of the separation of powers under American federalism in your answer. The following are helpful hints of what students have included in the past that you should not. DO NOT include the following in your essay: • A discussion of checks and balances between the U.S. government branches in your essay. Separation of powers between the national branches is not federalism. Checks and balances are one component of our national government, and one that we’re not discussing for the purposes of this essay. Federalism, in its original intent, is a sharing (or not) of particular powers between two separate entities. • Definitions of unitary or confederate systems of government. • A history of federalism in your essay such as a discussion about cooperative federalism, new federalism, etc. That’s just a history and does not actually describe how federalism works in our country. • A passage from a dictionary with the definition that federalism was a political party. It was, but the Federalist Party is not federalism. This is a straight up essay about federalism, and Figure 3.3 in your textbook is a great source (as well as the chapter, of course). Your essay must include your name, date, and title (of your choosing). It must be typed in Times New Roman font size 12 with default margins and double spaced. I will subtract 5 points if these instructions are not followed. Federalism Essay 2 An essay comprises an introduction paragraph, at least three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. It is not one or two giant paragraphs. I will deduct 20 points if you do not write your paper in an essay format. You must include parenthetical citations and a references page. Your work should be in MLA format (see the Writing Help document).
Your essay must be 500 words in length. It can be longer if needed. I will count of 20 or more points if your paper does not meet the word count requirement. See the syllabus for submission format. I accept any type of Microsoft Word document or .pdf(s). Avoiding Plagiarism: See the videos I posted in the assignment folder as well as the Help Folder located on the Information Page. Contact me with any questions about this assignment if you have them.
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