20 Dec 2022


Federal, State, and Local Governments: The Three Pillars of American Democracy

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There are wide benefits that we derive from governments all the time. Each layer of the government, whether federal, state, or local, come with it the services that are useful to citizens from whichever location. They also provide the security that is much needed in the country. The government of the United States come in various layers with different roles that they define. The government in the United States has been referred to as “federalism”, where power is shared between tte state, local government, and the federal government. The United States, in the year 1787, finalized the drafting of the much-needed new constitution. The constitution had to undergo ratification, as per the law during that time, so as the country could use it. For the formal consent to take place, nine of the total thirteen states at that time had to vote for the drafted constitution for its adoption. Naturally, there were two factions of congressmen for and against the adoption of the draft. Those who supported its ratification were the federalists and those against were the anti-federalists. The Federalists though took the day as the new constitution was adopted owing to their efforts. 

The anti-federalists were against the ratification of the constitution and more time to further amend it to suit their needs. They had a view that much power was handed to the central federal government hence taking the liberty of common citizens. They argued that America was too large a land to have a centralized repository of power and it would have been better to split this power for the citizen on the ground to feel the effect of power to their needs. They wanted legislative powers to be greater than that of the executive arm of government. Another important argument is that the Constitution lacked a bill of rights that could have protected American citizens. Guaranteed protection by the constitution was their main point when it came to the opposition to ratification. Also, their form of government did not include a national bank which would be the central financial system of the country. 

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The Federalists, on the other hand, fought for a new constitution basing on the fact that the Article of Confederation had failed. They foresaw the benefits that would come with this document that was powerful. This structure of government would place much power on the central administration which was the main point of contention with the anti-federalists who thought placing such power on one person would be dangerous, but the Federalist argued that the constitution has a safeguard protecting people’s rights. The constitution separated the powers into three branches which had equal powers and were interdependent. Each of these arms of government was able to limit each other hence no one arm was able to act alone or control another. The Federalists also argued that there was no need of having a bill of rights as this would limit the courts on jotted down rights alone with those not considered purported to be right, hence it was better not to list any and leave it to the courts to decide. Later the Federalists promised to amend the Constitution to include a bill of rights, for its ratification in a bid to win the anti-federalists support. 

The Federalists were right in their bid since at that critical time that previous articles needed for the country were failing and at that point, it was best to adopt a new constitution. Also, the United States needed to show a united front more than ever and present a strong government to have its say in the shaping of the world history. The bill of rights would be a plus at that time, but, being because it was a crisis mitigation, had to come as an amendment. Therefore through their efforts, America got its constitution that put in place a federal government in power. 


Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists . (2017).  Mo U.S. History . Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://mo8ushistory.weebly.com/federalists-vs-anti-federalists.html 

Federalist-Antifederalist Debates | Teaching American History . (2017).  Teachingamericanhistory.org . Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://teachingamericanhistory.org/fed-antifed/ 

Who Won - Federalists or Anti-Federalists? | The Judicial Learning Center . (2017).  Judiciallearningcenter.org . Retrieved 26 March 2017, from http://judiciallearningcenter.org/the-ratification 

Would you have been a Federalist or an Anti-Federalist? - Bill of Rights Institute . (2017).  Bill of Rights Institute . Retrieved 26 March 2017, from https://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/would-you-have-been-a-federalist-or-an-anti-federalist-2/ 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Federal, State, and Local Governments: The Three Pillars of American Democracy.


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