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What Is Meant By A Federal Government? Discuss Its Power And Benefits

Referencing Styles : Harvard | Pages : 1

The national government of the United States of America is also known as the federal government, which is a federal republic in North America that comprises of a federal district, 50 states and five self-governing territories and a lot of islands in possession. There are three distinct divisions of the federal government comprising of executive, legislative and judicial branches. The Congress directly attributes the power of these three branches from the United States constitution, the federal courts and the President respectively. Power and responsibility of these divisions are described by certain actions taken by Congress, which includes the creation of executive departments and other courts that are less powerful compared to the Supreme Court.

The term “Government of the United States of America” or “United States Government” is mostly used to denote the federal government as a distinct identity from all the other states collectively. The term “National” and “Federal” in all government program is used to indicate affiliation with the federal government. The reason for this naming is due to the seat of government, which is located in Washington D.C. “Washington” is often used to denote the Federal Government. The government of United States is primarily based on the principles of republicanism and federalism, where the power is shared in-between the state governments and the federal governments. The way these principles are interpreted and executed that define the power bestowed upon the federal government and the process based on which these principles are adapted and exercised has been under constant debate, starting from the day when Constitution was adopted. Arguments have been made on expanding the power of the federal government, whereas other argue that central government should have limited control over the states and other individuals and recognized identities. The House consists of 435 voting members who represent specific districts under the Congress.

American Civil War and subsequent rise in the power of the federal government has been kept in check in certain instances by the dominance of the legislative branches and states’ rights that succeeded to limit power of the federal government through executive prerogative, legislative action or by the use of constitutional imposition by the courts. The pillars of the United States constitution is the concept of “checks and balances” distributed among the branches of the American government.

The United States Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government under Article I of the Constitution. The U.S. Congress is bicameral that comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives. The number of representatives from each state is based on the population of each state calculated by the United State Census. There are certain rules, which are followed for electing the representatives of the states, having minimum one representative from each state. The individual representing a state should be more than 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States for a time period of seven years minimum and living in the state, which he or she represents in the Congress.

The House and Senate both have different powers that are exclusively available. Examples can be given like the senate has to approve many presidential important appointments, which include cabinet officers, federal judges, departmental secretaries, United States naval and military officers and foreign country ambassadors. The bills that are used for generating revenue should originate in the House of Representatives. The approval from both the legislatures is required to pass any amendment that becomes a law after being signed by the President. The power possessed by the congress is limited by the Constitution, whereas all other powers are under reservation of the people and state. There is an inclusion of “Necessary and Proper Clause” that grants Congress power to create and amend laws that are required to execute foregoing powers. Members of both the House and Senate is elected by first-past-the-post voting system for all states except Georgia and Louisiana that have runoffs.

Congress, under the federal structure has the power to remove the president, federal officers, federal judges from the office. The roles for house of Representative and house of Senate is different in this process where the House must first vote to impeach the House of Representatives. The constitution has bestowed power to Congress provisioned through Article I, Section 8, that includes the power to collect and levy taxes, for coining money and regulate the values, establishing offices and roads, issuing of patents, creating federal courts, which is inferior  than the Supreme Court. Power of the Congress goes to the extent where declaration of war, disciplining the military forces, create laws for proper execution of power. The time period of near about 200 years, since the formation of United States, there were several disputes against the extent of power of the federal government. Disputes were subsequently nullified using the subject of lawsuits, which was ultimately solved by the Supreme Court of the United States.

The benefits of a federal government can be stated like, reconciling the local autonomy with unity of the nation. There is a greater administrative efficiency due to the distribution of power between central and the state government. The provinces in a federal government enjoy separate rights, due to the inclusion of a separate cabinet and a legislature. The rise in federal government structure, also known as federalism subsequently gives rise to bigger states within the nation at the same time provides a great deal of advantage for the smaller states, that defend themselves by establishing diplomatic relation with the larger states. The division of power between the central government and the state government keeps despotism in check, as it is well known that increased central power leads to dictatorship. The world model believes that to achieve world peace the only possible solution is the formation of a world government, where the structure cannot be unitary but federal only. The benefits of a federal structure include rise of economic prosperity as well as cultural progress because of the encouragement in inter-state commerce and industry, which eventually leads to greater prosperity of the nation as a whole.


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