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National versus State Government:

Since the signing of the Constitution, the division of power in the United States has been based on sharing power between the national government and individual state governments. This is known as federalism.

Let's take a look at how power is distributed in the United States:

National Government State Government
  • Coin money.
  • Declare war.
  • Conduct foreign relations.
  • Oversee foreign and interstate trade.
  • Ratify amendments.
  • Manage public health and safety.
  • Oversee trade within the state.

In addition, the national government and state governments share the following powers:

  • Make and enforce laws.
  • Tax.
  • Borrow money.

In order to carry out these duties, the national government and individual state goverments are divided into areas. Each area is given a duty to perform.

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