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State Government
Guide: Federal-State Relations

The system of federalism is explored in this collection of articles and resources. Court cases and statistics illustrate the delicate balance of power between the federal government and the states, and how that balance has shifted since the founding of the United States. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Local governments play a critical role in citizens' everyday lives, providing services such as police and fire protection, utilities, and education
  • The size and organization of a local government impacts the way it functions
  • State government structures resemble that of the federal government with responsibilities and powers split between three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial
  • State governments both share some responsibilities with the federal government and have some separate areas of responsibility
  • The resources of a community impact its government's policies and effectiveness
  • States often serve as laboratories for government policy at the national level
  • States' election policies directly impact political outcomes at all levels of government

Key Questions

  • What key provisions in the constitution lay out the relationship between the federal and state governments?
  • How does the federal government use funding grants to states as a way to try and shape state government policy?


  1. Overview: Federal-State Relations
  2. Outline: Outline
  3. Transcript: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-The Tenth Amendment
  6. Lesson: 2-State Lobbying for Federal Funds
  7. Lesson: Closing
  8. Glossary Terms: commerce clause
  9. Glossary Terms: supremacy clause
  10. Photos & Illustrations: Sanctuary cities: immigration detainee in jail
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Wallace, George: attempts to block integration
  12. Facts & Figures: Powers of Federal and State Governments
  13. Facts & Figures: Sources of State Government Revenue, 2014
  14. Reference Articles: Block Grants
  15. Reference Articles: Necessary and Proper Clause
  16. Reference Articles: Federalism
  17. Political, Government & Court Documents: U.S. v. State of Arizona (2010): Department of Justice complaint
  18. Political, Government & Court Documents: Brewer, Jan: Statement on federal lawsuit challenging Arizona SB 1070
  19. Political, Government & Court Documents: Tenth Amendment (ratified 1792)

MLA Citation

"Federal-State Relations." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2156168. Accessed 17 Feb. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2156168

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