Sample Term Paper

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One of the basic ideas that guided the founding fathers of the United States is that one person or institution should not have absolute power. Power sharing between different institutions is thus one of the central tenets of the United States government. One aspect of this belief was the idea that the central government of the United States should only have very limited powers and that most of the power of governance should belong to the states, those of the founding fathers who held to this opinion were called the Anti-Federalists and those who held that most of the power should be held by the federal government and residual powers should lie with the states were called the Federalists (Lowi, Ginsberg and Shepsle).

In a series of compromises between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist factions, the Federal government was handed over the exclusive control over the economy and the foreign policy of the country. The economic control occurs through the Contract and the Commerce Clauses of the constitution. The Contract Clause prohibits states from issuing currency (U.S. Constitution. Art. I, Sec. X, Clause I). The immediate purpose of this clause was to block the issuance of bills of attainder by state assemblies which absolved individual debtors form their debts. However its result is that the Federal government has overall control of the economy (Lowi, Ginsberg and Shepsle). The Commerce Clause gives the Federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce, international commerce and commerce with (U.S. Constitution. Art. I, Sec. VIII, Clause III). Only the Federal government, through the President is authorized to engage in treaties with foreign nations with congressional advice and consent (U.S. Constitution. Art. II, Sec. II). The Federal government through the congress is allowed to declare war; it is also authorized to tax the people of the states (U.S. Constitution. Art. I, Sec. VIII, Clause I).

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