Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

Which level of government should take the lead?

Category Tax, Texas
Words 640 (3 pages)
Views 13

In ascertaining which between the federal government and the state and local government can best address the problems facing this nation, it is important that the pressing problems of the United States of America be identified first. Evidently, the most pressing problems of our nation today include job creation and economic growth, the war in Iraq, health care and social security, energy and the cost of gas, terrorism, illegal immigration and environment and global warming.

When it comes to addressing the problem of job creation and economic growth, the lead should not be taken by any of the two levels of government since both the federal as well as the state governments must share the burden of dealing with the same. At the state or local level, intrastate commerce must be readily addressed. While interstate commerce must be facilitated by the federal government.

The federal government however must be permitted to take the lead in addressing the problems of the war in Iraq, terrorism, illegal immigration energy and the cost of gas and the environment and global warming as these problems substantially involves foreign policy works that only the federal government is empowered to do. These problems require immediate attention and may oftentimes necessitate instant action which may only be delivered by the national government.

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On the other hand, the problems of health care and social security must be addressed by the state and local governments for the identification as well as the cure to these problems can best be addressed locally. It is within the realm of the power of the state and local governments to make measures to attend to the problems of health care and social security. Discuss the Davis Administration and how it affected the writing of the 1876 Texas Constitution.

Governor Samuel Jackson Davis’ administration was perhaps the most controversial and unpopular one in Texas history. This may be because even his assumption to office was in the first instance questionable. The backbone of his administration was the Texas Constitution of 1869 which provided for the centralization of power into the Governor’s Office and the expansion of governmental power. Davis’ term lengthened from the original two years to four years and his salary was significantly increased.

Davis was able to have control over local state officials because of the vast appointing and removal powers granted to him by the constitution. The Davis administration was also criticized for levying unreasonably high taxes and incurring lavish government expenditures. Aside from his control over the State Police, the Constitution also empowered Davis to take charge of the State Militia which he both used to maintain law and order and compel local officials whenever they refused or failed to obey.

His unpopularity was bolstered by immense corruption coupled with his declaration of martial law in some counties. Texans have always preferred decentralization, cheaper government spending and abhorred the coercive force of the state police and the state militia and the declaration of martial rule. That is why in December of 1873, Texans replaced Governor Davis with a Democrat in the person of Richard Coke and subsequently rewrote their constitution.

Texans promulgated the Constitution of 1876 which, up to this time, remains to be the fundamental organic law of Texas. It provided for shorter terms and lower salaries of elected officials, obliteration of voter registration, local control of schools, low taxation and less government expenditure. Although the governor was given the power to appoint, fill vacancies, and enforce the laws of the land, he was not given control over local or other elected state officials. The 1876 Texas Constitution vastly differed from its predecessor constitution.


Longley, Robert. "Federalism: National Vs. State Government."  (2008). April 28, 2008 <>.
Webmaster. "The Handbook of Texas Online."  (2008). April 28, 2008 <>.

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