The United States Constitution provided that states and the federal government would share certain powers. These powers are called Concurrent Powers. Examples of such powers are the power to tax and borrow money; the power of eminent domain (to take property for the public good); the power to define crimes and the power to enact laws and establish courts. States may also exercise (share) any power that the Constitution does not specifically reserve for the federal government.
Concurrent powers are shared by the state and federal governments .
Shared, or "concurrent" powers include:
The states were in existence before the federal government, and in fact had to ratify the Constitution before it could take effect. Since the states were all essentially sovereign, independent nations, the Founding Fathers could not have done anything without their agreement. In order to get them to accept the Constitution, the state governments of course had to share power with a limited federal government; otherwise they would never have ratified the Constitution, and the United States would not exist.
Federalism is a political system in which power is divided and shared between a central govenment and local govenments. Today, federal governments are not in the majority. Most nations do not have federal systems of government. The United States started out as a confederate type of government, with the states having most of the power. The Constitutional Convention was called to improve the government under the Articles of Confederation but decided to scrap that system and develop a new Constitution. The result was the federal system. The national government is supreme but the states also have certain powers they share with the national government and powers exclusive to the states. Smaller city/states may have had a form of federalism but the United States was the first major power to develop that political system for itself. It has withstood the test of time.
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