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What are the powers given to the national government, and what are the powers given to the state government? Provide a few examples.

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The Founding Fathers tried to balance the powers granted to the national and state governments. They had had a bad experience living under the tyranny of an English king, so they didn't want a central authority that was too powerful. The Articles of Confederation, on the other hand, gave the...

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The Founding Fathers tried to balance the powers granted to the national and state governments. They had had a bad experience living under the tyranny of an English king, so they didn't want a central authority that was too powerful. The Articles of Confederation, on the other hand, gave the states too much power. When the Founding Fathers met in Philadelphia in 1787, they sought to compromise and find the right balance. The result was the US Constitution, and they sent it to the states for ratification.

Patrick Henry (1736–1799) and many other Americans believed that the central government would have too much power under the Constitution, so they opposed it. Henry and some of the other opponents finally accepted the Constitution after the Bill of Rights was promised. Although the Constitution was ratified and put into effect, the South insisted that states' rights were supreme. Finally, the Civil War (1861–1865) ended the idea that states could nullify national laws.

The national government has the power to conduct diplomacy and wage war with foreign nations. It also regulates trade with other nations and between the states, and it prints money. The national government delivers the mail.

States largely control education. They also issue driver's licenses. States have local governments and manage their own elections. The states, like the national government, have the power to collect taxes. The states have all powers not expressly given to the national government.

The COVID-19 emergency has not been handled very well, and one reason is the division of powers between state and national authorities. Governors and mayors across the nation have issued different orders. Most experts believe that the nation's response would be more effective if Washington were firmly in charge of it.

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