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How is the constitutional principle of federalism reflected in the formal amendment...

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kristenmarieb... | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:04 AM via web

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How is the constitutional principle of federalism reflected in the formal amendment process?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Federalism is a form of government in which power is divided between the national government and lower-level governments (typically called states or provinces).  Neither level of government can simply dictate to the other; they each have powers that are given to them.  In other words, it is a system in which both states and the national government are important.

This system is reflected in the procedure that is set out for adding amendments to the Constitution of the United States.  In that process, the national government has a part because it is Congress that has proposed all of the amendments that have been proposed to date.  (There is a process by which the states call a convention, but this has never been used.)  Once an amendment has been proposed, the states have the power.  An amendment has to be approved by legislatures or conventions in ¾ of the states of the Union.  This is how the states play a part in amending the Constitution.

Thus, federalism is displayed in this process because both the federal government and the state governments have a part to play.

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