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According to Zimmerman (10-12), the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution advocated for the delegation of powers to all states in order to eliminate injustice against the federal government. The states were granted duties such as issuing birth and death certificates, driving licenses, car registration, unemployment benefits, and licensing for technical bodies and organizations (Alvarez & Plocheck 10-12). Each state is governed by its own government. The constitutions of the states came before federal legislation. The state constitution is a document that outlines the political process, the structure of the administration, and the restraint in the exercise of power. The states work with the federal government more so in carrying out public projects, for example, the construction or improvement of interstate roads through some compromise with the federal government. The state structure is more or less the same as that of the federal as it has the executive (for execution of the laws), legislature (for the making of the laws, they are bicameral just as the federal one) and the judiciary (for the interpretation of the law) (Alvarez & Plocheck 11). The essay shall narrow down to the discussion on the economics of Texas; the second largest of the fifty states in the US. It will additionally look at whether the association between the state and its cities is analogous to its relationship with the federal government.
Federalism is the most significant attributes of the American constitution. It is, in itself, a combination of conflict and cooperation, and a system of active strain between levels of government that seems to evolve habitually. Before the advent of the civil wars in the U.S., the states were predominantly less concerned with the American federalism. The stronger federal government emerged with the advent of income tax, the cessation of the civil war, world war one and two and the great depression. The Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC) was put in place to strengthen the federal and state relations. The modernization of the legislatures at the state level in the 60s and 70s revitalized the balance in the federal system (Bailey 189).
Texas State covers an area of two hundred and sixty-eight thousand eight hundred and twenty square miles. It is positioned in the south central of the U.S. By the year 2014, the state_x0092_s gross domestic product was at one point six four eight trillion US dollars, the second largest in the US. (Ashcroft 522-24; Zimmerman 13-14). It has thirty-one senators and one hundred and fifty state house representative. The per capita individual income was at thirty-six thousand four hundred and eighty-four U.S. dollars, which put it at number twenty-nine nationally. A large number of university systems in the state, in addition to the enterprises like the Texas Enterprise Fund, have changed the state on the technological front. It is also the headquarters of some large companies like Dell. It equally stimulates the firm sector of commerce consisting of wholesalers, insurance, and banking, industries and retail. Its population was at twenty-seven million four hundred and sixty-nine thousand, one hundred and fourteen people by the year 2015, representing 9 percent of the total population (Ruud 80-4). According to Ruud (685), the state established cities_x0092_ self-rule that allowed cities to operate semi-autonomously, enhancing their thrift and economic progress. Urban centers have substantially grown due to the migration witnessed, by the year 2005, only a third of the citizens stayed in rural areas (Ashcroft 521).
As one of the industrialized states in the United States of America, Texas releases the highest level of the greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere, up to one and a half trillion pounds of carbon two oxides per year (Howard 32-34). In the world front, the state is regarded as a nation of its own. It is the seventh largest producers of these gasses, and due to this, its relationship with the federal government has gotten strained (Alvarez & Plocheck 11). In the recent times, it has gotten involved in a legal battle with the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to permit it to come up with its own standards on pollution at the energy generating factories under the Clean Air Act (Bailey 189).
The strained relations between Texas and the federal government began with the negotiation to be annexed to the United States in the year 1837. There was a determined opposition between the United States and the individual citizens of Texas. However, the state finally got admission to the U.S. on December 29th, 1845. Upon its annexation to the U.S., the diplomatic relations between it and Mexico got strained. The U.S. used its state machinery to extend its borders to the Rio Grande. Much of this is owed to the vocal critique of the statesmen to the national headquarters in Washington for their failure to defend the borders having allowed the state to join the United States of America (Howard 33).
Since Texas is endowed with abundance of natural resources, there are bound to arise conflicts among cities in the state. Some of these conflicts might spill to the national level thereby straining its relations with the federal government. For example, with the discovery of oil in the state, its performance has significantly reflected the equivalent in the oil industry. After the discovery of oil in the Texas offshore in the 1930s, the federal and the state battled for the control of the reserves, but Texas claimed responsibility since the offshore fell within its economic jurisdiction. This scramble culminated in the signing of its Annexation Agreement with the national government in 1953, as it was promised by President Dwight Eisen (Mary 519).
Furthermore, in the recent times, the Texas Attorney General has been on fire more so in the fight against the federal government_x0092_s dominance, a former Supreme Court justice, and a Republican. He has brought in twenty-three cases against the federal government. Some of the issues challenged include voter registration and women health care. Under the electorate registration, he has criticized the landmark legislation of 1965 duped the Voting Rights Act, which deposited authority of oversight of the election to the federal government in principally the southern states that have a long history of the marginalized blacks. The Voting Rights Act has been amended four times in the recent past, the latest amendment in 2006 triggered the congressional discussion on the need to continue in some provisions of the law in what some see as integration with the south. In March 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice rejected the Texas_x0092_ voter identification law. Texas has become a major partner and on sport more so regarding the election laws (Hylton 1-4).
The debate on the health sector, triggered by the Obama care, Texas was one among the twenty-six states in the United States that challenged the constitutionality of the law. Because the major national policy such as medical, carriage and edification are managed by the states or the localities. States challenged the unprecedented steps to have a universal health coverage. On another front, the residents of Texas did not trust the federal government agencies, yet they would be the beneficiaries of the federal support in case of disasters. In the same regard, the state legislature equally wants the individual cities to take the lead in dealing with disaster (Hylton 3). The emergence of demands by various cities within Texas have over time strained the relations between the central government and the Texas government.
In conclusion, from the preceding, it is evident that there has been a strain between the federal government and the state of Texas based on the efforts by cities to discredit the federal government_x0092_s interference in the matters under Texas_x0092_ jurisdiction. The tension began at the annexation of the state of Texas to the United States of America. Much of this distrust has been due to the underlying fact that the economic power of the States of Texas is undisputedly enormous owing to the resources available in the state in all aspects ranging from natural resources to the human capital. Throughout history, Texas has gotten concerned about its autonomy as a state. The tensions can get equated to the happenings of the cold war and between the U.S. and Russia.
Alvarez, Elizabeth & Plocheck, Robert. Texas Almanac 2014-2015. Texas State Historical Assn. Texas: University of North Texas, 2014. Print.
Ashcroft, Robert & Barbara, Kyle. _x0093_Home rule Cities and municipality Annexation in Texas: Recent Trends and Future Prospects._x0094_ Mary_x0092_s LI 15 (1983):519.
Bailey, Fred. "Texas Philosophy, Nashville Agrarianism, Reagan Republicanism, and the Neo-Confederacy." Nation within a Nation, 2014, pp. 181-204.
Howard, Emily. House Committee on Texas Response to Federal Sequestration, Texas House of Representatives Interim Report, 2012: A Report to the House of Representatives, 83rd Texas Legislature. House Committee on Texas Response to Federal Sequestration, 2013.
Hylton, Hilary. "Texas' Legal War with U.S. Government: Challenging Obama." Time. April 5th, 2012, Web.
http://swampland.time.com/2012/04/05/the-lone-star-way-why-texas-legal-war-with-the-federal-government-could-be-the-biggest-one-yet/ (Accessed on April 4th, 2017)
Ruud, Millard H. _x0093_Legislative Jurisdiction of Home Rule Cities._x0094_ Tex.L.Rev.37 (1958): 682-97.
Zimmerman, Joseph F. State-Local Relationship Approach (2nd Ed.). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1995. Print.
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