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Federalism was selected as the most appealing system of government in 1787 primarily because of lack of feasible alternatives Confederacy had been tried by the 13 states under the Articles of Confederation and found to be lacking in that it did not provide adequate cohesiveness between the individual nation-states However widespread loyalty to state government and identity prevented the adoption of a fully unitary system Instead founders chose federalism as a moderate option which could best meet the needs of a people desiring national unity but demanding local representation and authority as well Further consideration revealed the multiple benefits of a federalist system Federalism provides a significant obstacle for absolutism The various levels of government and their allotted capabilities provide firewalls against the rapid spread of extremism and radical political mutation The national government has the ability to check such a transformation as it moves from state to state Each comprises a separate entity which can be influenced independently of its neighbors On the flip side if a certain political party is ousted from the national government it is still likely to carry support on the state level preventing ideological annihilation Thus the capacity for tyranny is curbed no matter where it originates Federalism supports union without destroying state identity Issues can be debated on a state level before they are addressed on a national scale Local proceedings affect the position which state legislators take on a national scale Not all states or parties must be in agreement on the national level and the conclusions reached by individual states can be compared as they relate to the nation as a whole With federalism the results of policies enacted on a state level can be examined before being applied on a nationwide scale This allows states the opportunity to pioneer reform and to take steps in desired directions ahead of the remainder of the country Again federalism provides a firewall affect by limiting the destructive potential
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