Reading: Federalism

Federalism is one of the most important and innovative concepts in the U.S. Constitution, although the word never appears there.  Federalism is the sharing of power between national and state governments.  In America, the states existed first, and they struggled to create a national government.  The U.S. Constitution is hardwired with the tensions of that struggle, and Americans still debate the proper role of the national government versus the states.  Chief Justice John Marshall, the longest-serving leader of the Supreme Court, noted that this question ‘is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.’ —Peter Sagal

Explore the readings and videos at Constitution USA with Peter Sagal for contending expert analysis on modern federalism.