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Government - Essay Example

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This is because power and authority are two critical concepts that define the political organization of any given country. In the United States, state governments share power with the federal government within a…
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Government Question The role of the government is fundamental in the societal setting. This is because power and authority are two critical concepts that define the political organization of any given country. In the United States, state governments share power with the federal government within a political framework known as the American federal system. A federal system provides for a political order within which states or provinces govern the country alongside the national government (Welch, John, Susan, and Sue 68). This type of collaboration in government constitutes a political federation, such as that observed in the United States.
In contrast, unitary governance system is characteristic of power centralization. Instead of having independent states or provinces, as it is the case in the United States, a unitary system functions based on subnational units. Critical to note is that these subnational units are subject to the influence of the central government. In this respect, the central authority governs local governments under the unitary system. Great Britain and France are good examples of governments that practice the unitary system. While national and state governments share power under federalism, the central government decentralizes or delegates power to subnational units under the unitary form of government (Lansford 44).
Political cultures that adopt federalism are those that believe in more than one body of legislation. These cultures lack parliamentary systems, and instead rely on bicameral constitutional provisions for legislation formulation and implementation. In contrast, most unitary governments are unicameral. In order to share and subsequently regulate power, legislation at the state or province level is either approved or rejected by the head of the national government. Most importantly, both state and national governments work together in social, economic, or political matters.
Question 2
Religious beliefs and practices vary from one region to another. In the United States, religious freedom is constitutionally provided for. In other words, the constitution makes it clear religion and state are two different entities. What this means is that the government, through congress, cannot interfere with an individual’s choice, belief, or practice of religion. The constitutional provisions made in the First Amendment accord protection to the religious freedoms of the American people.
The free exercise clause prohibits congress from interfering with religious beliefs or practices of the American people (Horwitz 63). On the other hand, the establishment clause accords the congress no power to create national religion (Horwitz 63). In combination, the two clauses maintain religious autonomy among the American people. The first clause allows people to practice or belong to any religion of their choice. The second one prohibits the government from creating a national religion, to which members of the public should belong.
The wall of separation between the church and the state elicits controversies from time to time. In terms of establishment, religions that violate polygamy laws and sex with minors emerge from time to time. These practices become the center of controversy because the free exercise clause work in support of such religious beliefs. These controversies are often resolved using the violated non-religious laws. Moreover, cults and mobster activities have been linked to the free exercise of religion, prompting criminal actions against perpetrators.
Works Cited
Horwitz, Paul. First Amendment Institutions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012. Print.
Lansford, Tom. Democracy. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2007. Print.
Welch, Susan, John Gruhl, Susan Rigdon, and Sue Thomas. Understanding American Government. New York: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print. Read More
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