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What was the impact of the Reagan Revolution on federalism?

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isabella0927 | Student, Undergraduate | Honors

Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:05 AM via web

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What was the impact of the Reagan Revolution on federalism?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:42 AM (Answer #1)

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In my opinion, the impact of the Reagan Revolution on federalism was mixed.

On the one hand, Reagan talked a lot about giving the states more power and the federal government less.  The article that I have linked to discusses how Reagan's budgets stopped a lot of federal money that had been going to the states to help them with various programs.  This, again, gives the states more of a role and the federal government less.

On the other hand, Reagan also was willing to use federal money to force states to carry out certain policies.  The one I remember best is the fact that he forced states to raise their drinking ages to 21.  He threatened to withold federal road funds if they did not.

So in many ways, Reagan empowered states, but he was also willing to force states to do things if he thought that was appropriate.

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