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Federalism is one of the most innovative and important concepts in the United States’ Constitution where power is jointly owned by national and state governments. In the United States, they have always struggled to create a national government because the state existed first and this has always been an inconclusive topic among the jurisdiction, while in Canada, the system of federalism was described by the division of powers between the country’s provincial governments and federal parliament.
Federalism can be said to be the form of government in which there is a division of power between two levels of equal status. This type of government, generally seen as a compound or mixed mode of government, combined a general government with the regional government in a political system.
Federalism represents the convenient form in the pathway of geographical separation in which the general level is not subordinate to the regional level in the case of con-federalism while the regional level also not subordinate to the general level in the case of devolution. Examples of countries that practiced this type of government include Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, India, United States, and Canada.
Tagalog federalism (federalism in the Philippines) was initially suggested by Jose Rizal in his Essay titled “Las Filipinas Dentro de Cien Anos” published in 1889.
Federalist is a term for describing those who support a joint federal government with dispersed power at national, supranational and regional levels in Europe and many of the federalists want this development to progress within their territory. While in the United States, federalism was referred to belief in a stronger central government. This makes the Federalist Party support a stronger central government when the U.S constitution was drafted, while the Anti-federalist wanted a weaker central government. This brings the union to a conclusion that the U.S constitution was written as a response to the Articles of Confederation, under which the state was with a weak central government under a loose confederation.
However European federalism argues for a weaker central government in relative to a unitary state due to their great history of unitary states that the Americas. Most people were supporting federalism in the United States debate in favor of regulating the powers of the federal government most especially the judiciary. Though in Canada, federalism was believed to mean antagonism to sovereigntist movements.
There are four theoretical explanations in the academic literature for the adoption of federalism in the political system.
Federalism has distinct advantages that help to understand why it has been adopted so widely by liberal democracies. These include:
With all the advantages analyzed, it is unfortunate each of these advantages has its shortcomings.
Disadvantages of Federalism