How do the U.S. Constitution and individual state constitutions factor into the process of governance?

 American political history can be understood as a perennial battle between state power and national power. which is also referred to as “federalism.” The Civil War is perhaps the greatest instance of this conceptual (and violent) struggle, but it is a struggle that spans from the founding to our current climate. Should more or less power be given to the national government than currently exists?  How do the U.S. Constitution and individual state constitutions factor into the process of governance? Explain your answer using relevant topics and arguments (for example, debates over gay marriage, gun control, educational standards, environmental protection, etc.).  I need this work before midnight!