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Federalism in India

  • Date Submitted: 03/31/2011 06:20 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.1 
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Types of government and Federalism

There are three major types of government in the place in the world today. The most prevalent is the unitary system. In a unitary system, power is held at the national level, with very little power being held in political subdivisions, such as provinces, counties, parishes, or towns. The least common is the confederation. Confederations are unions of equal states, with some power being held at the national level. Generally, it has been found that conflicting interests lead to the break-down of confederations.

The third major system is the federal system. In a federal system, the national government holds significant power, but the smaller political subdivisions also hold significant power. The United States, Canada, Australia, and Brazil are examples of federal systems.

Is any one of these better than the other? That is a matter of opinion. Suffice it to say that each has its positives and negatives, and as such, the choice for which to use in any particular nation depends on the nation, its people, its existing political subdivisions. The United States was a series of colonies under the British unitary system; upon the execution of the Revolution, the United States became a confederation under the Articles of Confederation; and when that system proved unsuccessful, it was transformed into a federal system by the Constitution.

Federal systems are chosen for a number of reasons. The size of the nation might be one concern; the diversity of the political subdivisions might be another. The United States combines a bit of both: the size of the continental United States made a unitary system unwieldy, and the diverse interests of the states made confederation impossible. Nations like Switzerland have a population split by language, and despite its small size, found federalism to be a better choice than the others. China, being an extremely large and extremely diverse nation, finds the unitary system more suited to its...

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