The Role of Government
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution knew that the new government they crafted must be more powerful and effective than the government under the Articles of Confederation. They studied history and human nature to create a government strong enough to promote the public good, but not so strong that it would become a threat to individual liberties.
Understanding the Role of Constitutional Government in Promoting Economic Prosperity
Lesson 4 of Building Blocks of Progress, a resource created in collaboration with the Bill of Rights Institute and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
This lesson includes a variety of activities and primary source excerpts, providing students with a comprehensive study of federalism. Through the Constitution’s system of federalism, power is divided between national and subnational governments. Federalism allows citizens to make policy decisions at state and local levels. Decentralization draws individuals out of private life and compels civic engagement.
What is a Federal Republic?
The delegates to the Constitutional Convention embraced the difficult duty of crafting a government that appropriately distributed the power between the national government and the states. For the Founders, the principle of federalism was a means of protecting liberty by limiting and dividing government power. This lesson explores the principle of federalism, how it is constructed in the Constitution, and the relationship between national and state powers.