Main Characteristics of Dual Federalism

In dual federalism, the  power is divided between the federal and state governments.  The  government at the state level is able to use their powers without interference from the federal government. There is distinct division between the two groups with each having their own agenda. On the other hand, cooperative federalism is collaborative work  on policy between the state and federal governments. In cooperative federalism there is no differentiation between the two groups as they work closely together on varied issues.  

Many factors played a role in the shift from dual federalism to cooperative federalism. One major event that played a role in the shift was the Federalist Period where the state and federal governments were in opposition.The states had all the power at the time during this period, but the federalist fought to get strong federal power. A key event involved in the shift from dual federalism to cooperative federalism is States Rights, Civil Rights, and the Separate but Equal Doctrine. States Rights enacted the states’ rights to have equal power. The Separate but Equal Doctrine gave every person the right to vote after passing a literacy test. Civil Rights allowed political freedom for every citizen. When the rights were formed this allowed states to have more power. When the states got more power this shifted to the cooperative federalism as the states and federal governments began working more cooperatively. Cooperative federalism allowed state and federal governments to work out economic problems and work together on federal problems.

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In the case of Wickard v. Filburn the power of the federal government to regulate was increased.   When President Roosevelt passed the Agricultural Adjustment Act he was attempting to stabilize the farm prices.  Filburn was penalized when he yielded an excess of wheat according to what the federal government allocated.  He refused to pay the fine and filed a lawsuit with the federal court.  The courts denied his claim and upheld their right to regulate. This case expanded the role of the federal government.

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