There is very little if any mention and discussion about federalism in this video even though Alexander Hamilton’s vision of federalism is part of the title of the video. But I’ll give you the vision of federalism that our Founding Fathers ( our Founding Liberals ) gave us.
There was no such thing as America or the United States pre-Revolutionary War when the British colonies in what is now known as the United States of America broke way from the United Kingdom. The 13 original colonies came together to form this one new nation and created a Federal Republic. Which is sort of stating the obvious but important for this discussion. A big reason why the colonies or American colonies broke away from Britain was because they wanted more autonomy and more ability to govern themselves.
The United Kingdom was a unitarian superstate both in mainland Britain but in their colonies as well. With all of the governmental power being centralized in London and with the King back when the U.K. Monarchy ran Britain. Britain is still a unitarian state with most of the governmental power rested with the U.K. Government, but they do have cities now and municipal government’s with at least some control over their own local governmental affairs. And now Northern Ireland and Scotland, have some control over what Americans call their state affairs. What other countries call their provincial affairs.
So when the Founding Fathers created the United States of America, they just didn’t want a republic but a federal republic. Where Americans wouldn’t just be free from Britain, but from dictatorial power from a supersize central government where most of the power would be rested with the national government. A governmental system that Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians, all love and want to keep. While Social Democrats or Socialists in America, want to replace because it severely constrains what the national government can try to do for the people.
Federalism is a governmental system of how government works in America and in other countries, including Europe like in Germany where the national government is much larger than in America’s when you talk about percentage of the economy that is taxed and by national government. In a federalist system you have a national government that is called the federal government. But you also have state and local government’s.
And you don’t just have these other government’s within the country, but they have real governmental authority over their own governmental affairs. And have the power to govern themselves and do for themselves what they choose to do as long as they’re within the U.S. Constitution. So they can run their own law enforcement and education department’s, but they can’t discriminate based on race or try to create their own currency or military, try to eliminate property rights, the right to privacy, the right to free speech. State and local laws, like federal laws, have to be within the U.S. Constitutional. With all laws from all levels subject to judicial review.
I’m what I call and perhaps others call a Liberal Federalist. I’m both a Liberal and a Federalist. Which might sound like an Oxymoron to people who view Liberals as the same thing as Socialists and Communists. But I’m a Liberal in the classical and real sense and if you’re a real Liberal you’re not a fan of big over centralization of power whether it’s private power with how business’s and private organizations are run, or with how government is run. Which is why federalism is a perfect governmental system for myself and other Liberals because we don’t want one big government trying to run everything for everybody in a country this huge and diverse. And don’t believe Washington even with all their brilliant people are capable for making decisions for Los Angeles, Denver, Milwaukee, or any other jurisdiction that the U.S. Government doesn’t have direct control over.
Federalism is the only type of governmental system that can work in a liberal democratic constitutional republic like America, because again of our physical size and being so huge physically, but also having such a large diverse population as well. Culturally, racially, ethnically, and politically diverse a country that we are. You try to impose a socialist unitarian superstate in America, which is what they still have in Britain today even with their new municipal government’s, and you would see states like California, Texas, the Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida, the states in New England, and others break away and try to form their own countries. Being a Federalist doesn’t mean you approve of every law that another jurisdiction or your own jurisdiction passes. But it means you believe they have the right and should have the right to pass those laws and govern themselves as long as those laws are constitutional.