What is the Federal System of Government? their Definition and Essay; A federal system of government divides the powers of government between the national (federal) government and state and local governments.

Here is the article to explain, Definition and Essay on Federal System of Government!

The Constitution of the United States established the federal system, also known as federalism. Under federalism, each level of government has sovereignty in some areas and shares powers in other areas. For example, both the federal and state governments have the power to tax. Only the federal government can declare war.

What is a federal system government?

Federalism and the federal system define the basic structure of the American government. There were many disagreements at the Constitutional Convention. Many delegates feared a national government that was too strong and many delegates feared that states’ rights would merely continue the weak form of government under the Articles. The Constitution created a federal system of government (federalism) as a compromise. Under federalism, power stands shared and divided between national and state governments.

Both levels have their agencies and officials and directly affect the people. The Founding Fathers had no other choice except federalism. The weak union created under the Articles would not work yet people did not want to give all the power to a national government. Federalism was the middle ground–compromise–a way to distribute authority between the states and the national government

What are the pros or benefits or advantages of a federal system of government?

The powers limited.

I learned that the “individual” was the topmost focus of American society. Every policy devised at the official level would firstly think about; how it would benefit or affect the individual living inside the American state. In our society, there is a greater emphasis on family, society, and the country; but a lot of attention in the US stands paid to individual liberty. The state tries to ensure all forms of liberty for the individual. This includes the freedom of religion. Every individual is free to practice whatever religion he or she prefers. However, there is no state religion in the US.

The government does not have a religion/does it pursue any policy, including foreign policy, based on religion. There are no religious parties in the US. Another important area of individual liberty enshrined in the US Constitution is the freedom of speech and cultural expression. While everyone allows to independently articulate their views, people exist expected to refrain from making hate speeches.

There is also freedom of information.

The government of the United States cannot put any curbs on the media. Interestingly, there is no Ministry of Information in the United States. The media is largely independent and free from official control. All media outlets are under private ownership which keeps ascertaining public opinion about; their interest in different issues through opinion polls and surveys. The US media rarely discusses the country’s foreign policy. A lot of attention exists paid to domestic issues by the media; because not many people in the US take a keen interest in foreign affairs. Newspapers and TV channels keep the interest of their readers and viewers supreme; and, they avoid printing and broadcasting such material which fails to attract public attention.

The government structure in the US does not centralized.

The country stands divided into independent federal, state, and local governments. There are fifty states in the US but all of them have different constitutions, separate laws, and state flags. Several laws, including those about the death penalty, gay and lesbian marriages, or age of eligibility to use alcoholic drinks, differ from one state to the other. For example, the death penalty is legal in New York but it is illegal in Florida. In the same way, punishment for one offense could also be different from one state to the next state.


Unlike Pakistan, the President of the United States does not appoint the governors of American states nor does he influence them. They exist elected by the voters inside the states and enjoy full independence in terms of pursuing state policies. The states in the US are so much power that they can even negotiate international trade deals; with other countries provided that they do not clash with the interests of the US federation. The American states exist empowered to impose taxes on the citizens. Mr. Elias informed us that 90% of the state budget in the US comes from public taxes; while the government accounts for only 10% of the budget.

Another example;

Another classic example of a decentralized American federal system is the local government. The local governments are also autonomous and powerful to impose taxes. The county police chief stands elected. He is so powerful that even the President of the US cannot pressurize him. Thus, he expects to perform well if he exists interested to seek a new term for the same office. There is no national education policy in the US. Every county and state has its education policy. Every county stands divided into a school district. The federal government’s contribution to the total education budget of the states is barely 6%; while the remaining budget stands paid by the states themselves.

The US federal system government has four mandates which can not exist taken away from it under the US constitution.

  • Defense
  • Foreign Policy
  • Management of dollar
  • Inter-state commerce

The US has a bicameral presidential system comprising of the House of Representatives; the lower house with 435 members, and the US Senate, the upper house with 100 seats. Presently, the Democratic Party of President Barrack Obama has 255 seats in the lower house; while the Republicans have 178 seats. Two other seats are currently vacant. Representation in the House of Representatives stands given to the states based on population. At the moment, California, the most populated state of the US, has 53 seats. The Senate provides equal representation to all states.

Courts of the United States;

“Court of the United States” includes the Supreme Court of the United States, courts of appeals, district courts, Court of International Trade, and any court created by Act of Congress the judges of which stand entitled to hole Office during good behavior. 28 U.S.C.A. ~ 451. Also, the Senate sits as a court of impeachment.

Supreme court;

An appellate court exists in most of the states. In the federal court system and most states, it is the highest appellate court or court of last resort. In others (such as New York) the supreme court is a court of general original jurisdiction, possessing also (in New York) some appellate jurisdiction, but not the court of last resort. Supreme court of errors. Formerly, the court of last resort in Connecticut, now called “Supreme Court”.

The “Judicial power of the United States”, whatever it may be, stands vested in the Supreme Court and such other courts as Congress may establish. But the composition of the Court, including the number of its members, exists left for congressional decision; and, while federal judges cannot exist removed except by impeachment; there is nothing to prevent Congress from creating additional judgeships whenever it chooses. Furthermore, although the judicial power “extends” to a variety of cases described in Article III, section 2; the second paragraph of that section significantly qualifies what the first seems to have granted; and, gives Congress power to control the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over appeals from lower courts.

Parts 01;

By the way, its famous section 25 gave the Supreme Court power to reverse or affirm state court decisions; that had denied claims based on the federal Constitution, treaties, or laws. This meant that such cases could exist reached by the Supreme Court through its appellate jurisdiction. But suppose a state court had denied such a claim under the federal Constitution; and, the Supreme Court of the United States reversed on the ground that the state court’s interpretation of the Constitution was in error.

And suppose further that the state court obstinately continued to insist upon its interpretation. Was there anything in the Constitution to guarantee that the Supreme Court’s opinion would prevail; that the Supreme Court’s authority was superior to state courts? Or suppose, to carry the matter a step further, that the government state court had a federal system law invalid; as conflicting with the national Constitution and the Supreme Court agreed with this holding; thus asserting its authority to overthrow an act of Congress. Does the Constitution make it clear that the Court has its final authority of “judicial review” over national legislative enactments?

The answer to both questions is a fairly solid “no”. As for state decisions, it has existed argued that the “supreme law of the land” clause; and the clause extending the judicial power to cases arising under the Constitution do make it clear; that the Supreme Court stood intended to be preeminent on questions of constitutional interpretation. If the Constitution is supreme and the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over cases involving the Constitution; then it follows that the court’s word on such matters is paramount over all others.

Parts 02;

The fact that the Constitution is supreme does not settle the question of who decides what the Constitution means and as for the judicial review of congressional acts, the support in the language of the Constitution was even more suppositious. Arguments for the authority derived solely from that language seem inevitable to beg the question.

Supreme Court of the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court comprises the Chief Justice of the United States and such number of Associate Justices as may exist fixed by Congress. Under that authority, and under the act of June 25, 1948, the number of Associate Justices is eight. Power to nominate the Justices stands vested in the President of the United States, and appointments stand made by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Article III, section 1, of the Constitution further provides that “the Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not diminish during their Continuance in Office”. The term “good behavior” stands well understood to mean justices may serve for the remainder of their lives, although they can voluntarily resign or retire. Supreme Judicial Court. The highest appellate court in Maine and Massachusetts.

Courts of Appeals, U.S.;

Intermediate appellate courts stood created by Congress in 1891 and known until 1948 as United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, sitting in eleven numbered circuits, the District of Columbia, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Normally cases exist heard by divisions of three judges sitting together, but on certain matters, all the judges of a circuit may hear a case. Courts of appeals have appellate jurisdiction over most cases decided by United States District Courts and review and enforce orders of many federal administrative bodies. The decisions of the courts of appeals are final except as they are subject to discretionary review on appeal by the Supreme Court.

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Federal court, established in 1982, with appellate jurisdiction over actions arising under the laws relating to patents, plant variety protection, copyrights, trademarks, contract and property claims against the United States, appeals from the United States Claims Court, Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Court of International Trade, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Court of Veterans Appeals. As well as appeals under the Plant Variety Protection Act, the Contract Disputes Act, decisions by the United States International Trade Commission relating to unfair import practices, and decisions by the Secretary of Commerce relating to import tariffs 28 U.S.C.A. ~ 1295.

District courts.

Each state stands comprised of one or more federal judicial districts, and in each district, there is a district court. 28 USCA ~ et seq. The United States government district courts are the trial courts with general federal jurisdiction over cases involving federal system laws or offenses and actions between citizens of different states. Each state has at least one district court, though many have several judicial districts (e.g. northern, southern, middle districts) or divisions. There is also a United States district court in the District of Columbia. A territory situated on the Potomac River and being the seat of government of the United States. Legally it is neither a state nor a territory but exists made subject, by the Constitution, to the exclusive jurisdiction of congress.

In addition, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico has a United States district court with jurisdiction corresponding to that of a district court in the various States. Only one judge exists usually required to hear and decide a case in a district court, but in some kinds of cases; it exists required that three judges call together to comprise the court (28 USCA ~2284). In districts with more than one judge, the judge senior in the commission who has not reached his seventieth birthday acts as the chief judge. Also, names for interior state courts of record have general jurisdiction.

  • District judge. The judge of a United State district court; also, in some states, the judge of a district court of the state.
  • District parishes. Ecclesiastical divisions of parishes in England, for all purposes of the workshop, and for the celebration of marriages, christenings, churchings, and burials formed at the instance of the queen’s commissioners for building new churches.

Court of International Trade.

This federal court stood originally established as the Board of United States General Appraisers in 1890, and in turn, stood superseded by the United States Customs Court in 1926. In 1956 the Customs Court stood established as an Article III court.

The Customs Court Act of 1980 constituted the court as the United States Court of International Trade and revised its jurisdiction. As so reconstituted, the court has jurisdiction over any civil action against the United States government arising from federal system laws governing import transactions and also jurisdiction to review determinations as to the eligibility of workers, firms, and communities for adjustment assistance under the Trade Act of 1974.

Civil actions commenced by the United States to recover customs duties, to recover on a customs bond, of for certain civil penalties alleging fraud or negligence are also within its exclusive jurisdiction. The court stands composed of a chief judge and eight judges, not more than five of whom may belong to any one political party.

The 14th amendment;

The due process clause, which appears in both the Fifth Amendment as a limit on the nation and the 14th Amendment as a limit on the states, had usually existed interpreted as having only a procedural meaning. That is, it did not prevent the government from depriving a person of life, liberty, or property; but simply guaranteed that certain standard procedures would observe before a person was so deprived.

Even though was an ambiguity of the Constitution language, an ancient Supreme Court judge, Mr. Campbell, has argued that the 14 Amendment had revolutionized the American system by bringing the right of man, including of course the right to occupational freedom, under national judicial protection.

The term “due process” has the same meaning in both the Fifth and the Fourteenth Amendments, and it follows that the prohibitions announced against state action were usually presumptively applicable to national laws as well, if Congress might venture to enact them.

During most of its history, the Supreme Court had paid little attention to the subject of “civil rights”. The Bill of Rights, it will be remembered, had been held inapplicable to the states in 1833. That meant that free expression (Amendment I) and the personal procedural rights connected with arrest and trial ( Amendments IV- VIII) could be abridged by the states without raising a federal constitution question.


In 1884 it was held in Hurtado v. California that the due process clause did not require the states to conform to the Bill of Rights in their criminal procedures; and, as late as 1922 the Court denied that the amendment restricted the states in dealing with freedom of expression. According to the states, they were for some time relatively unconfined by the constitutional doctrine in the civil rights field. On the other hand, the national government had so far had little occasion to encroach on civil rights except in wartime, for police regulation (règlement de police) that raised questions of this kind was left almost exclusively to the states.

Schenck v. the United States government involved a federal system law, and the question of whether the free speech guarantees applied to the states by the way of the Fourteenth Amendment was still comparatively untouched. However, the Court in 1925, confronted by a New York law punishing “criminal anarchy”, declared “we may and do assume” that freedom and press “are protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the States”.

Essay parts 01;

Procedural rules were sometimes interpreted rather generously in other areas as well. The right against “unreasonable searches and seizures” (Amendment IV) did not avail; for example, to prevent federal officers from searching the premises of an arrested person even though; they bore no warrant to search and there had been ample time to get one before making the arrest. Evidence obtained by wiretapping was not admissible in federal tribunals; because wiretapping was forbidden by federal statute, but the Court steadily refused to hold that wiretapping violated the Fourth Amendment; and, it allowed the admission of evidence obtained by various hidden listening devices like radio transmitters.

In the field of deportation and denaturalization, the Court established the important principle that the man threatened by deportation or denaturalization was entitled to some procedural rights under the due process clause. By the 1930s the Court had accepted the idea that some procedural rights protected against national action by Amendments IV-VII, were also protected against state action by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Essay parts 02;

I want to introduce a field that was a big issue for the Supreme Court during the postwar period. America’s primary racial minority, the Negroes, lagged so patently and woefully behind the rest of the nation in their privileges: this problem seemed the greatest because it involved the most glaring injustice. The XIV and XV amendments were passed originally to secure Negro rights, though the other former amendment had been diverted to other uses. Consequently, the Supreme Court justices were conscious of the United State’s position as a symbol of the free world and the new importance of the “non-White” nations in the world arena.

Two kinds of race discrimination mattered more than any of the rest: denial of the voting right and denial of adequate education. Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938), was a United States Supreme Court decision holding that states that provide a school to white students must provide in-state education to blacks as well. States can satisfy these requirements by allowing blacks and whites to attend the same school or creating a second school for blacks.

The Law School at the University of Missouri refused admission to Lloyd Gaines because he was an African-American. At the time there was no Law School specifically for African-Americans within the state. Gaines cited that this refusal violated his Fourteenth Amendment right. The state of Missouri had offered to pay for Gaines’ tuition at an adjacent state’s law school, which he turned down.

In the 19th century, the Court had diminished the possible effect of the Fourteenth Amendment by denying that Congress could reach private persons under the enforcement clause, and by upholding state-required segregation of races.

Essay parts 03;

The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”. This means that the amendment has no bearing on private discriminatory behavior and that Congress (XIV Amendment prevented states from denying basic civil rights and gave Congress the power to enforce its guarantees of liberty and equality) extends only to states and to state officials acting under state law.

In the Missouri case, that note was finally sounded loud and clear. Following the casual standards acceptable in the past, Missouri had never bothered to establish a Negro law school, although it did maintain one limited to whites. Now a Negro student, duly qualified except for his color, sought entrance to this University of Missouri law school and was of course denied. The state came out with the fact that there were too few Negro applicants to warrant the setting-up of a special school; and that, pending the day when the number of such applicants would be substantial; Missouri had done its constitutional duty by offering to pay this Negro’s tuition at a university in another state.

But these evasions, though once serviceable enough, did not impress a Court now coming alive to the problem of civil rights on many fronts. We can say that the Missouri decision signaled a new judicial mood toward Negro rights. It was followed in the next twenty years by the development of an elaborate jurisprudence of equality extending into a large variety of fields.

Definition and Essay on Federal System of Government Image
Definition and Essay on Federal System of Government

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