2.2 Structure and Design of U.S. Government

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Federal and State Government

Division of Power

The Constitution gives the national government responsibility for maintaining the general welfare of the nation and its citizens. Therefore, the national government protects national security and manages trade relations with other nations. In the interest of maintaining a strong national economy, the Constitution permits the national government to maintain a national monetary system and to regulate trade among states.

Many day-to-day government functions are reserved for the states. These include providing education, licensing drivers, issuing marriage licenses, and establishing city and county governments and courts.

The national government and the states also share certain powers. Among these shared powers are the power to collect taxes, the power to borrow money, and the power to enforce the laws.