Dual Federalism

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  • The earliest period in the intergovernmental system of the United States is characterized by what is referred to as dual federalism. Disputes often arose about how much power the federal government should have and what should be addressed by the states. This stage and governmental arrangement lasted well into the 20th century. Dual federalism refers to how federal and state governments both sought to establish their own separate spheres of power and influence. Some describe the relationship between federal, state, and local governments as a layer cake. That is to say, the three levels worked parallel to each other and rarely together. There was very little cooperation or coordination between federal and state levels of government. In many instances, the relationship between the two ...

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