Federalism in America

To begin with, the Civil War was the result of extremism on both Northern and Southern parts. The American Civil War took place from 1861 to 1865 was a conflict between the Federal government and eleven slave states in the South who declared their secession from the Union and became the Confederate States, led by President Jefferson Davis. One major argument between the two sides of this national conflict was that the North rejected any rights of secession of the Southern States. The secession of the South was caused by the slave disagreements between the slave-owning South and increasing anti-slavery North. The South feared that they would lose control in the federal government to the anti-slavery forces of the North, and the Northerners feared that the “slave power” had already controlled the government. The North and South each exaggerated their views of slavery (both of which were somewhat based on fiction and somewhat factious). To southerners, it seemed as if they were being betrayed by the rest of the Union and saw slaves as happy and content simpletons, while the North felt that the South was inhumanely selling, buying, working, beating, and breeding people as if they were animals. Federalism was very critical in the time period of the Civil War and in the years just before it started because the United States was challenged to balance the power between the states and the national government during a time of increasing tension over different social and economic systems in the North and South.

Secondly, the reconstruction of the United States also held numerous problems concerning federalism. The reconstruction period took place between 1865 and 1876 and was ultimately a time in which there was political re-entry of the rebellious states during the Civil War, the economic devastation in the South, and the disputes of education and support of the newly freed men. After the Civil War, both the national government and the states government took on different roles than those which they had played before the war. The national government became a manager and reformer in the economic system of the Unites States, while the state government reforms were centralized on traditional areas of police power and services (as they are in today’s government) in areas such as hospitals, sanitation, and public welfare. Later in history, the national government kept their role as an economic supervisor and greatly assisted commerce expansion by regulating and supporting it.

Clearly, federalism is a significant factor in United States history as well as it is today. As stated, both the American Civil War and the Reconstruction period after the Civil War were areas in history where important debates were held about federalism. Overall, there are numerous encounters in history in which federalism played an vital role and also it helped changed the political world today.

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