Thursday & Friday, January 10 & 11

  • Who is in charge and what are they in charge of?
  • How does Federalism divide power?
  1. Power Elite reading quiz
  2. NOTES-Power and Federalism


  • Read and be ready for a quiz over Pluralism and the B-1 Bomber readings next class



Representative democracies can take several forms along this scale:

  • Participatory democracy, which emphasizes broad participation in politics and civil society
  • Pluralist democracy, which recognizes group-based activism by nongovernmental interests striving for impact on political decision making
  • Elite democracy, which emphasizes limited participation in politics and civil society
Explain how models of representative democracy are visible in major institutions, policies, events, or debates in the U.S.
The three models of representative democracy continue to be reflected in contemporary institutions and political behavior.
Explain how Federalist and Anti- Federalist views on central government and democracy are reflected in U.S. foundational documents.
Federalism reflects the dynamic distribution of power between national and state governments.
Explain how societal needs affect the constitutional allocation of power between the national and state governments.
The exclusive and concurrent powers of the national and state governments help explain the negotiations over the balance of power between the two levels.
The distribution of power between federal and state governments to meet the needs of society changes, as reflected by grants, incentives, and aid programs, including federal revenue sharing, mandates, categorical grants, and block grants.
Explain how the appropriate balance of power between national and state governments has been interpreted differently over time.

The balance of power between the national and state governments has changed over time based on U.S. Supreme Court interpretation of such cases as:

  • McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), which declared that Congress has implied powers necessary to implement its enumerated powers and established supremacy of the U.S. Constitution and federal laws over state laws
  • United States v. Lopez (1995), which ruled that Congress may not use the commerce clause to make possession of a gun in a school zone a federal crime, introducing a new phase of federalism that recognized the importance of state sovereignty and local control


A balance between governmental power and individual rights has been a hallmark of American political development.

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