Explain how the Constitution augmented national authority.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Constitution increased national or central power in a couple of distinct ways.  The fact that the executive branch became powerful or possessed power under the Constitution was a stark departure from the Articles of Confederation, which gave little power to the central government.   The fact that the Constitution specified that the government was to work in the light of a "more perfect union" helped to build the idea that all states had to work together.  The Supremacy Clause in the Constitution that stated that "The Constitution is the supreme law of the land" helped to lend credence to the national government and increase national authority.  The principle of Federalism and the tenth amendment both helped to construct a relationship between states and national authority as a working partnership, but one in which the national structure of government held power over its local counterparts.  The Constitution's construction of central authority, as being able to respond to issues such as Shays' Rebellion, with force and with clear mandates for order helped to increase national authority in a manner that its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, could never do.

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