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The balance of federal powers and those powers held by the states as defined in the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution was first addressed in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). Chief Justice John Marshall asserted that the laws adopted by the federal government, when exercising its constitutional powers, are generally paramount over any conflicting laws adopted by state governments. In the period between the American Revolution and the ratification of the United States Constitution, the states had united under a much weaker federal government, pursuant to the Articles of Confederation. The Articles gave the central government very little, if any, authority to overrule individual state actions. The Constitution subsequently strengthened the central government, authorizing it to exercise powers deemed necessary to exercise its authority, with an ambiguous boundary between the two co-existing levels of government. Over the following decades, another central dispute over states' rights moved to the forefront. The issue of slavery polarized the union, with the Jeffersonian principles often being used by both sides—anti-slavery Northerners, and Southern slaveholders and secessionists—in debates that ultimately led to the American Civil War.
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DO NOT PLAGIARIZE!
Okay, I'll make it in my own words.