AP Gov Blog #5

Posted by JOANNA BLUME on 10/24/2021

Last week we completed our first unit of study and ended it by exploring the concept of federalism.  We looked at the approaches to federalism taken by people like Madison, Roosevelt, and Reagan. We learned that Madison appeared to favor the concept of dual federalism, while Rosselvelt prefered the top down approach, and Reagan the bottom up approach. We also learned that the national government has been able to get involved in various programs traditionally reserved to the states via their ability offer states federal funds which often come with conditions, unless it is an unfunded mandate. Overall I think we have been able to conclude the concept and practice of federalism is something that is not clear cut and can it times become complicated. With that being said, for this week’s blog I would like you to reflect on this unit and draw a conclusion as to what you think federalism should look like. Read the article below and answer the following questions:


  1. Which approach to federalism do you prefer? Do you prefer dual federalism like Madison, the top down approach taken by Rosselvelt, or perhaps the bottom up approach taken by Reagan?
  2. In reference to the unfunded mandates discussed in the article, which of the above presidents would most likely be in support of these and why? Who would most likely oppose and why?
  3. Evaluate the extent to which you believe unfunded mandates are necessary. Select an unfunded mandate not mentioned in the article to help support your argument.


Unfunded Mandates