VII.2: What Does “Federal” Mean?

The word ‘federal’ refers to the division of governing power between a nation and its sub-regions or states. It is confusing that in America it has become common to use the word “federal government” to refer to the national government alone. It would be far clearer to use the phrase “national government” for that purpose. … Read more

VI.3: National versus State Sovereignty

The American Civil War was not just about slavery, though that was the hot-button issue. The bigger issue in that war was national versus state sovereignty or power. That included a state’s right to allow slavery. And while it’s true that most southerners believed slavery was necessary for their economy, many wanted it slowly abolished. … Read more

VI.2: States’ Rights and National Supremacy

The northern and southern states fought the Civil War over states’ rights. States’ rights and national supremacy involve the sovereignty of individual states within their own boundaries. The opposite point of view is that only the national government is truly sovereign, so it can override state decisions. The most volatile issue at the time of … Read more