Federalism Handbook

Evan Jasica

Welcome To America

Welcome to America, This handbook is a guide on the basics of American government. You are very fortunate to live in America, the land of the free. We have freedom in almost everything, we are allowed to think, say and do what we please, within the law. Our government is based on restrictions for the government by the people, not restrictions by the government for the people.

Why Does America Have Individual States?

Due to the fact that America uses a federalist system we use states to divide power and prevent one government from becoming too powerful. States also have their own government so that they can decide things for their people, removing some responsibilities and power from the national government. Under the tenth amendment that is in America’s constitution, all powers not given to the national government are state responsibilities.

What Is a Constitution?

A constitution is a set of standard principles which a government is based on, since we have separate state and national governments, we must have separate constitutions that go into greater detail for each state. We have both state and national constitutions because the state and national government are responsible for different things, therefore the constitutions must be able to suit the responsibilities of each.

What does the Preamble Mean?

In order to form a more perfect Union

-It says that they do this to make a better country for the people.

Establish Justice

-One of the reasons we broke away from Europe was because we did not see justice, in our new government we wanted it to stand and ensure justice for the people.

Insure domestic Tranquility

-In order to have a functional country we cannot have disorder within our own borders, this was so that the government would ensure peace within the states.

Provide for the common defence

-This states that the government will protect the nation from foreign threats, since no individual state could stop an invasion.

Promote the general Welfare

-This means that the government will take care of the general public and provide for its well being.

Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

-This means that the government will protect these rights in the future.

Flow Chart displaying Federalism at the State Government

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Why Doesn't Federalism Always Work?

Federalism can sometimes fail due to the fact that having many people rule, means that we have many different opinions. When the different branches of our government do not work together this can slow, or completely halt activity and progress. With too many people in charge no one knew who was leading the relief effort. The responsibilities of each government are confusing at times. One of the most obvious examples of failure with Federalism is during hurricane Katrina.

Why Was Hurricane Katrina A Failure?

A lack of communication caused disorder and chaos. No one was prepared for this disaster, assets and backup plans were nonexistent. People didn’t know whose responsibility it was.
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Obligations And Responsibilities of A U.S. Citizen

Citizens in America are obligated to Support the constitution, follow all laws made by all governments, participate as a member of jury if needed. Citizens are responsible, in America for voting, taking care of their respective families, and students are responsible for attending school and educating themselves.
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How and Why Do I contact My Federal Senator of Congress?

You would contact a senator or a representative if you have an issue or an idea for something that you want congress to hear or be made aware of at a national level.

How and Why Do I contact My State senator of the General Assembly

To bring awareness to an issue that is of state, not national concern, is why you would contact someone from the general assembly.


1.Why does America have so many people ruling the government?

America wanted to divide power among many so that no one individual could take over the country and become a king, like the one we escaped from.

2.How do I become a citizen

Becoming a citizen is not an easy task and requires a lot of paperwork, but here is a link to get you there, http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/apply-citizenship

3. How do I get a driver’s license

The first step is to complete a driver’s education program, next is to get some behind-the-wheel training. Then you go to a local DMV and pass a written test and a driving test.

4.How do I file a lawsuit?

Filing a lawsuit is when you accuse someone of breaking a law, this results in a case in front of a judge, here is a link to help, https://www.i-lawsuit.com/how-to-file-a-lawsuit-without-an-attorney/

5.How do I get a marraige license in Ilinious?

In order to get married you need to be 18 years or older and both consenting. A marriage license is issued by a member of the county court. Lastly tests must be done to see if either has certain diseases.


"Hurricane Katrina." Hurricane Katrina. New York Times, 25 Sept. 20012. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

"The Strom." PBS. PBS, 22 Nov. 2005. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

"Senator Edward D. Maloney." Illinois General Assembly. Illinois General Assembly, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

How to File a Lawsuit - With or Without a Lawyer." ILawsuit. I-Lawsuit, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

"Apply for Citizenship." USCIS. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.