Federalism and Separation of Powers

The United States of America is so successful in terms of political balance because of the two principles that run its state order. These are federalism and separation of powers, which are both important to guarantee that none of governing bodies dominates while dividing the power. Thus, the role of federalism and separation of powers is to a large extent related to limiting the power of national government.

When speaking about limitations, it is worth saying that it is necessary to keep the democratic order stable. In case power has no limitations, there is a temptation for any organ to become authoritative and dictating, rather than democratic. For this reason the power is organized in the way that not individuals but the system works properly, so that any individual official is placed within the system by necessity of following its rules. Federalism means that while some issues are under control of central government, others belong to the scope of power of administrative units, such as states. Moreover, the states report to the central government on their decisions, while the central government does the same in relation to the states. In this way, the healthy mechanism of democracy works, so that no individual body of power controls the whole process.

As for separation of powers, it is equally essential in this structure. According to this principle, the power is divided into three independent branches such as legislative, executive and judicial ones. Each of them is responsible for an individual aspect of ruling the state in terms of its central government. Apart from balancing each other, these branches of power serve to limit the power of President.  In the United States, it is known as the scheme of checks and balances, which means that each of the above mentioned branches can control the other one or even cancel its decisions. Thus, the power of any organ or person can never become absolute, which ensures functioning of democracy.

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