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Identify and describe provisions of the United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Constitution that define and distribute powers and authority of the federal or state government.
Focus Question: How does the U. S. Constitution and the Massachusetts Constitution define the powers of the federal and state government?
Idea that a central governing body, is divided between other provincial state governments
Combination in which power to govern is shared by both the National and state governments
Minting Money is a Power Reserved for the Federal Government
for a Crash Course video that explores the structure of National and State government, and concurrent powers.
U.S. Constitution: Powers of Federal Government
U.S. Constitution (1787)
Article I Section 8: Powers of Congress
Gives Congress power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises as well as give Congress the power to pay debts, and provide common defense and general welfare for the United States.
All duties, imposts, and excises must be the same throughout the United States
"Congress shall have Power … To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof." (
The 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution declares that "The powers not delegated to the United States [federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." This remains a fundamental Constitutional provision that gives more power to the States.
Powers Reserved for the Federal Government
Regulate foreign commerce
Regulate interstate commerce
Regulate naturalization and immigration
Grant copyrights and patents
Create and establish post offices
Admit new states
Declare and wage war, declare peace
Fix standards for weights and measures
Raise and maintain an army and a navy
Govern the federal city (Washington D.C.)
Conduct relations with foreign powers
Universalize bankruptcy laws
Restrictions on Federal Government Powers
No ex post facto
No bills of attainder
Two-year limit on appropriation for the military
One port may not be favored over another
All guarantees as stated in Bill of Rights
No suspension of habeas corpus, unless it is a time of crisis
Amendment X of the Constitution: Rights of the States under the Constitution ( Part of Bill of Rights)
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people"
Massachusetts Constitution: State Government Powers
1827 drawing of the Massachusetts State House by Alexander Jackson Davis
United States History I.17
Powers Reserved for the State Governments
Establish voter qualifications
Provide for local governments
Regulate intrastate commerce
Provide education for its citizens
Maintain police power over public health and safety
Conduct and monitor elections
Maintain integrity of state borders
Regulate contracts and wills
Restrictions on State Government Powers
Treaties, alliances, or confederations may not be entered into
Letters of marque and reprisal may not be granted
Contracts not impaired
Money may not be printed or bills of credit given out
No import or export taxes
May not wage war, unless a state is invaded
Massachusetts Constitution (1780)
- Established the creation of a two branch state government, the House and the Senate
The separation of Federal and State powers has an interesting influence on each tier's
In the case of
Obergefell v. Hodges
(2015), federal government's and state government's role in marriage equality came into question.
Selected Works Cited:
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