Order Code: IIC124DV   
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When the Founders developed it, federalism was a unique form of government that attempted to divide sovereignty between two primary levels of government: the nation and the states. The national government is much stronger in a federal government than in a confederal government, but not as pervasive as in a unitary government. The American Founders justified the new government as a means of strengthening the ineffective national authority that had been created under the Articles of Confederation in a manner consistent with the ideas of separation of powers and checks and balances.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe the characteristics and central strengths of confederal, federal, and unitary governments.
  • Explain the factors that motivated the American founders to establish a federal form of government and identify the key arguments that they made.
  • Identify the meaning of enumerated, implied, and reserved powers and their relationship with one another.
  • Identify three periods of American history in terms of the relationships between state and federal powers that were recognized during each period.
  • Describe how contemporary federalism has been characterized by both an expansion of and a contraction, or devolution, of national powers.
  • Identify the manner in which the national government provides money to state and local government, and exercises at least limited control over how they spend these monies.
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This title is part of the series: FRAMEWORK FOR DEMOCRACY




10 and up


Color and black-and-white

Run Time

26 minutes