You will prepare and submit a term paper on The Process of Devolution since 1960. Your paper should be a minimum of 1250 words in length.
Certain powers and responsibilities are transferred from one entity to the other in an effort to reduce federal government powers. Federalism, on the other hand, is a system where there is a constitutionally established division of authority between a central level government and the regional or sub-central level governments. It is the division of power between federal governments and individual state governments. As such, federalism is based on balanced authority with either the central or the regional level of government dominating in policy-making and legislation.
The USA moved to new federalism in the 1970’s and 80’s under the Republican regimes of President Nixon and Reagan which allows the state to reclaim some power and at the same time recognize the federal government as the highest government with the most power (Patterson 96).Throughout history, governments have had a tendency of centralizing power. Therefore, certain groups within the federal and unitary systems have increasingly sought to decrease power from the central governments through devolving some duties and responsibilities to regional and local governments.
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There are many factors culminating to a devolution of power including amendments in the constitution and Supreme Court rulings since the 19th century. The great depression of 1930’s led to an increase of power for the federal government as it tried to get America out of this great crisis. This led to the expansion and adoption of the then president Franklin Roosevelt policies (Patterson 98).The federal government role was expanded which was based on the partnership with the states popularly referred to as cooperative federalism.
This coalition continued throughout the administration of J.F. Kennedy from 1960 to 1963 as well as Lyndon Johnson from 1964 to 1968. At this time, the national government was viewed as a promoter of civil rights and liberties and as such its policies about the devolution of power were well adapted. Cooperative Federalism main feature was the grant aid system where the federal government uses financial resources to give money to the states for use on mutually agreed upon goals.
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