Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Julie Novkov


The issue of federalism has been one that has plagued our nation since its inception. There are many things that affect the state, federal government relationship and this paper focuses on the Commerce Clause. Looking at a series of cases and discussing the judicial opinions and rulings that came out of them it is concluded that there is a negative correlation between the Commerce Clause and federalism. In other words when the Commerce Clause is utilized powers are taken away from the states. From the time of Gibbons v. Ogden all the way to 2012 with National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius the Commerce Clause has evolved with our nation and proved an instrumental tool in the belt of the federal government. The intention of the founders could never have known that the country would grow and industrialize the way it has.