Essay by mikesgirlHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2002

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During the hectic time when the Founding Fathers were trying to help our nation get on its feet, a series of problems faced the nation. When framing the Constitution they developed several constitutional principles of government which have become fundamental to the nation?s political operation. Some of which included federalism, and separation of powers.

Federalism , is also referred to as federal government, a national or international political system in which two levels of government control the same territory and citizens. Countries with federal political systems have both a central government and governments based in smaller political units, usually called states, provinces, or territories. These smaller political units surrender some of their political power to the central government, relying on it to act for the common good. In a federal system, laws are made both by state, provincial, or territorial governments and by a central government. Federal political systems divide power and resources between central and regional governments.

The balance of power between the two levels of government varies from country to country, but most federal systems grant large sovereignty to state or provincial governments. Central governments decide issues that concern the whole country, such as organizing an army, building major roads, and making treaties with other countries. A weak central government ruled the country from 1783 to 1789 under the Articles of Confederation. Each state had an equal voice in Congress, but Congress could not collect taxes to operate the government. The confederation of states had no chief executive and no central body with enough power to make the states abide by the Articles of Confederation. Washington and other statesmen realized that the country could only survive if the central government had more power, but they also wanted to avoid trampling the rights of the states. In 1787 political...