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This essay investigates the literature available on Federalist system of governance like that of the United States. Basically, it focuses on the various arms of the government and their respective functions. According to literature, the federal government of the United States is composed of three branches that operate within a clear separation of powers. These are the legislature, the judiciary and the executive arms of the government, whose powers are clearly outlined in US Constitution. The legislature consists of elected officials whose sole responsibility to formulate and change the laws of the land. At the federal level, there are the Senate and the Congress that are charged with the constitutional mandate to make and alter laws for the country. However, there are also state assemblies that perform all the legislative duties of the state as provided in the United States constitution (Friedman, 2005).
On the other hand, there is the executive arm of the government that puts into actual practice the laws formulated by the legislature. This encompasses the Presidency and the Cabinet of Secretaries of State. In addition, there is the judicial arm of the government that interprets the laws on behalf of the entire government. The three arms of the government particularly exist to facilitate operations within government and to ensure that there is no high-handedness within the government. Undoubtedly, there would be trouble if the executive had all the powers to make laws, interpret and execute the laws. This is the principle of separation of powers (Langeluttig, 1927).
Federalism is a governance structure where political power is decentralized from the central government to smaller units of governance. In the United States, federalism has significantly enhanced the criminal justice system because it gave suspects several avenues to pursue their appeals in case they are dissatisfied with a particular court ruling. Besides, it brings the government closer to the people. For instance, civil courts deal with family or social matters with regards to the area of jurisdiction so that there is no geographical bias. In addition, criminal courts are able to apprehend criminals as they can easily follow them up on their networks. This enables the concerned agencies to refer them to correction facilities like prisons in a timely manner. The state and federal systems are quite dependent upon each other. For instance, cases committed in more than one state fall under the jurisdiction of the federal courts. The basic features of the two systems are very similar, though (Friedman, 2005).
In conclusion, the United States government consists of three arms of the government. The governance system adopted is a federal one that operates at the national and state levels. However, the overall success of this system is pegged on the level of cooperation between the state and the federal governments.