Federalism

In the year seventeen hundred eighty-seven,

The United States was an infant growing stronger.

A conviction rang unanimously among the people:

The Articles of Confederation were effective no longer.

And so in their stuffy waistcoats and breeches,

Renowned politicians gathered at Independence Hall.

After months of debate they proposed something new:

A document whose impact on the nation would not be small!

They wrote it and signed it, the mighty Constitution,

An eternally righteous and dependable foundation.

The Framers' painstaking model of compromise

Became the glowing pride of the entire nation.

And the Constitution heavily regarded federalism:

The federal and state governments' roles

Were carefully delineated in order to limit

The power of government, the foremost of its goals.

And thus a distinct political system was born,

With so many powers, enumerated and implied,

Established for the national government

And the states to carefully share or divide.

The national government has exclusive powers

Such as coining money and declaring war.

And with the necessary and proper clause

Its implicit powers amount to even more!

Each state, meanwhile, has its own reserved powers to

Set up local governments, regulate commerce within its border.

And by the Tenth Amendment it also wields powers neither given

To the national government, nor prohibited, for keeping order.

Sharing is caring, and so there is overlap:

The state and federal governments can both take action

To levy taxes and establish court systems,

Though often conflicts result from their interaction.

And today federalism is still quite a balancing act,

Always sparking controversy and debate.

It's states vs. federal government until the end of time,

But can be a symbiotic relationship and above all, great!