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Federalism and American Political Development: From the New Deal!

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Ryan Hurl

POL203Y1: U.S. Government and Politics October 6 , 2011. Federalism and American Political Development: From the New Deal! The Development of Federalism • 1800-1860: Jeffersonian-Jacksonian era - decentralized federalism • 1860-1880’s: civil war and the failure of reconstruction • 1880-1930: the progressive era: new conflicts over federalism The Progressive Era and Conflict over Federalism • They wanted to increase the power of the national state • The Interstate Commerce: congress adopted laws to regulate railroads and large corporations, which were mostly directed to interstate commerce, this was a problem because railroads were in the position to charge monopoly charges, states couldn’t effectively regulate railroads because they were too easy to bribe and the supreme court limited the power of states to regulate businesses which are directly connected to interstate commerce because that wasn’t in their jurisdiction • The Sherman Anti-Trust Act: trying to regulate trusts (organized firms that are created to obey state limitations on monopolies), • Dual federalism: courts are trying to draw the line somewhere (state side, people are making things i.e. production and the other side is commerce, i.e. regulation but not making things) • Opposition to federalism mainly lied within the courts, problem was with the attempt to establish a federal police power (keeping people safe and happy) • The Federal Child Labour: wants to prevent the movements of goods produced by children under the age of 14 but this didn’t pass because the children weren’t actually passing through state lines (this was decided in the Hammer v. Dagenhart case) The New Deal Two main purposes: • 1) FDR wanted to create a modern social safety net • 2) Manage economic competition, so that the economic breakdown of the depression would not occur again • Social security act: old age insurance, unemployment compensation etc., • Tax offset: tax imposed on employers and then it will be removed if states adopt an unemployment insurance • Introduced the use of federal grants, categorical grants and bloc grants as an attempt to get
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