Federalism
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Federalism. Types of Powers. The Constitution divides power between the national government and the states. This creates five different types of powers within the Constitution. 1. Enumerated Powers ~ Powers given to the federal government by the Constitution.

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Federalism

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Federalism

Federalism

Types of Powers


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The Constitution divides power between the national government and the states. This creates five different types of powers within the Constitution.


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1. Enumerated Powers ~ Powers given to the federal government by the Constitution

Enumerated powers are those powers given specifically (and only) to the national government. They can be found in the first three Articles of the Constitution.


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2. Expressed Powers ~ Powers given specifically to Congress by the Constitution

These powers are listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

These are powers that only Congress may do, such as:

  • declare war

  • coin money

  • establish a postal service

  • maintain an army and navy


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Expressed powers are a special kind of enumerated power. A diagram of the two powers might look like this:

All expressed powers are also enumerated, but not all enumerated powers are expressed.


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Think about it this way--if we made a diagram showing all the birds in the world, it might look like this:

  • Birds

  • Ducks

All ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks. Yes?


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Same comparison we can make between expressed and enumerated powers

  • Birds

  • Ducks

All expressed powers are enumerated, but not all enumerated powers are expressed.


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3. Reserved Powers ~ Powers the Constitution saves for the states

These are powers that only the state governments may do, such as:

  • operate the schools

  • issue licenses (driver’s, marriage, doctor’s, etc.)

  • run elections within the state


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4. Concurrent Powers ~ Powers shared between the states and the national government

These are powers that the states and the national government can do at the same time, such as:

  • make laws

  • tax

  • borrow money

  • establish courts

  • maintain roads


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Implied Powers ~ Powers given to Congress, but that are not written, but suggested, by the Constitution

Implied powers come a specific sentence in Article I--Article I, Section 8, Clause 18.

Clause 18 says Congress may do whatever else it needs to do to accomplish its Expressed powers. This sentence is called the Elastic Clause--it stretches the powers given to Congress.


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Implied powers allow Congress powers that are not specifically listed in the Constitution. For this reason, the Anti-federalists thought it was the most dangerous sentence in the Constitution.

Because of implied powers, Congress can build a mint to coin money.

Implied powers also means Congress can control:

  • space exploration

  • nuclear power

  • radio and TV communications (FCC)


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