Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Define federalism and explore the roots and functions, as well as the strengths and weaknesses, of the U.S. federal system.
  • Differentiate between powers allocated to the national government and to the states as outlined by the U.S. Constitution.
  • Compare dual and cooperative federalism and discuss how each affects the balance of power between the national government and the states.
  • Explain how two landmark cases under the Marshall Court helped to establish a balance of power between the federal and state governments.
  • Analyze the resurgence of states’ rights in the period leading up to the Civil War.
  • Discuss the evolution of federalism during the New Deal era.
  • Understand the continuing evolution of federalism during the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century.