Freedom and American Federalism

Uses the views of Samuel H. Beer to discuss American federalism.

Based on the book “To Make a Nation” by Samuel Beer, this paper explains the importance of freedom and federalism in the U.S. democracy. The paper discusses how liberty or freedom in the American political system is a continuous process of defining rights and self-interests of an individual as well as defending citizenship of the individual. The paper also shows how federalism, or by that means centralization, need not to be viewed as regressive or dangerous to freedom.
“The focus of Beer in his work is on the evolution of American democracy with which the evolution of individual freedom is intrinsically linked. America remains a nation as an aspirant idea and the political order it has developed has the capacity for regeneration and renewal. It is argued that the order followed a hierarchy from local to state to the federal government. Beer demonstrates that the Union had been created before the individual states assumed political structures to protect and support individuals. When America was breaking ties with colonialism, the political realty had been limited government in which individuals came together to make a pact for a government system that could protect them while they pursued their own ambitions. The combined outcome of these two was an affirmation of America and a rejection of the European past. America offered a sharp contrast to Europe where government control was overwhelming. In America, communities existed before there were governments to care for public needs or to enforce public duties.”