The federalists divided the government into 3 powers, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. Centralism usually stems from the lack of economic resources in states to provide basic services to all citizens. You will learn the differences between the federalist and centralist system of government in the following aspects: powers, organization of the territory, representation and who would elect representatives. This political doctrine advocates the political and administrative centralization of power. The central government is the supreme authority and has all decision-making power. In this form of government, it is the state that assumes powers before states or administrative units, since it is responsible for the exercise and administration of public rights throughout the country. Today, we will analyze the different systems of government that existed in Mexico after the War of Independence in the nineteenth century. We have already spoken in previous classes about the differences between constitutional monarchy and republic. From the latter, we will now deepen the different positions, the federalists and the centralizers. Similarly, there are different forms of application of federalism: its disadvantage lies in a more lax order, more vulnerable to the independence of certain national territories and the existence of legal gaps between one order and the other in relation to the competences of the provinces. Germany or the United States behave in the same way, alternating federal policies and institutions with the relevance of a central government that eventually takes power.
Federalism (from the Latin foedus, “pact, agreement”), on the other hand, is defined as the political doctrine that prefers to distribute power mainly in an association of states or provinces with relative autonomy in political, economic and legal matters, delegating part of their powers to the state and retaining a large part of their sovereignty. Federalism and centralism are two conceptually opposed terms, both referring to different organizational models of states. First and foremost, federalism favours coexistence and administrative coordination between different territories of different cultures dependent on a central power. The latter will then be responsible for deriving partially different powers and responsibilities. Federalism and centralism are two political doctrines for the organization of the state, that is, two different ideas about how to structure a nation. Its fundamental difference is that federalism proposes the construction of a political entity (e.g. a government) from the integration of smaller entities that retain a certain margin of autonomy; while centralism proposes the monolithic unification of these units under the command of a single core of authority, from which power is exercised unidirectionally. Federalism aims to ensure the participation of the constituent bodies of States in order to exercise their functions fully and freely. Centralism (from Latin centra, “in one place”) is defined as a political doctrine that believes in the concentration of power in a central organ of the state, a supreme authority that rules over the entire territory and the rules for the distribution of wealth, the approval of laws and everything related to the territory of the nation.
Dictates. The conservative group, composed of senior clergy, the army, landowners and merchants, chose centralism as their system of government because it guaranteed the preservation of their wealth and privileges. The liberal-minded federalists represented the aspirations of a new bourgeois group composed ± small landowners and merchants, professionals, intellectuals and bureaucrats. The central administrative body shall exercise all powers without restriction. An example of this type of centralism is Monaco. In federalism, political power is divided by territory, while in centralism there is only one central government, that is, there is no division of political power by territory. Centralism gets this name because it proposes a center of power for a particular nation, while federalism proposes an equal federation or union of states. There are many examples of federal and centralist doctrines. The first model includes the political-territorial organization of the United States, in which its various provinces house their own parliamentary, legal and legal structures independent of those of the neighboring state, and yet they work together to regulate the fate of the country from a parliament and executive branch of national scope.
In the centralist government, the sovereignty of the states was not recognized and they became departments, the president appointed the governors with the intention that they correspond to the mandates of the central government. Under the 1824 constitution, the federal government would be supported by a state-paid army©and bureaucracy. In return, states retain their sovereignty in internal affairs with their own laws and authorities. However, the lack of resources and the different interests of the ruling group have exacerbated the political crisis. Conflicts between federalists and centralists continued, alternating government. In 1843, a new constitutive congress called the National Legislative Council drafted new legislation: organic foundations, establishment of the Central Second Republic, and favor of the clergy and army©. The federal government is defended by a quota paid by the states and levied at customs. With regard to the army, the dissolution of all armed forces that had revolted against the government was ordered, the number of army leaders and officers©was reduced, and those of regiments and militias or national guards©were formed with elements of the people. With the disappearance of the First Empire, the deputies of Congress chose the republic as the ideal form of government, but soon the dispute arose between the supporters of the Federal Republic (federalism) and the Central Republic (centralism). Alternatively, centralism or centralization presupposes an opposite model and is based on the accumulation or concentration of state power and corresponding decision-making in a central decision-making core. On the other hand, a centralized model is that of Venezuela, in which all power belongs to the national government based in the capital Caracas, from where the state budget for the provinces is distributed, laws are passed, bureaucracy is organized and even the governors of these provinces are issued.
The struggle between supporters of federalism and centralism in the nineteenth century was particularly intense in Latin America, so much so that in many cases it led to civil wars, as the newly emancipated Spanish-American republics now had to choose a method to build themselves once independence from Spain was achieved. Some countries have chosen a strong central government, while others have preferred to meet in a less rigid way, within the framework of a federal system. At present, and particularly in the Western context, the adoption of mixed models between the two modalities is more common. Federalism and centralism are therefore the opposite of ways of understanding the political, social and economic functioning of a particular territory. The adoption of a federal or centralized structure responds to several cultural, historical or geographical factors of countries around the world. Centralism and federalism are two models of political organization that seek either to concentrate all power in the same single central unit or to distribute it among different autonomous or associated units. Federalism enjoys the prestige of forming more democratic societies, as it requires constant reconciliation, reunion and agreement, with respect for the social, religious or cultural individualities of different provinces, which is crucial in the case of multi-ethnic countries or plurinational States. These are the states that have a politically centralized cooperative federalism.