Constitution Minute: President Larry Arnn explains the importance of Federalism.

Federalism: Essential to Free Government


President Larry Arnn explains the importance of Federalism.


STUDENT: Hello, I’m Vivian, a student at Hillsdale College. Here is Hillsdale President Larry Arnn on the enduring importance of Federalism.

DR. ARNN: Many in Washington today have grown so accustomed to centralized bureaucracy that they think of Federalism as old-fashioned, kind of like fife and drum music. Those who wrote the Constitution saw Federalism as a vital principle of free government in a large republic. The division of power between the Federal government, state governments, and local governments, which serves an important protection against tyranny. The Founders also understood that while the Federal Government is essential for national matters like foreign policy and defense, the governments closer to the people were far better suited to oversee local matters. As we see in the problems that resolve from centralized bureaucracy today, there’s nothing out-of-date about the Founders argument for Federalism.

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