Articles Of Confederation Essay Research Paper As

Articles Of Confederation Essay, Research Paper

As the first written constitution of the

United States, the Articles of Confederation created a legislature where

each state was represented equally. The Congress had jurisdiction over

foreign relations with the authority to form alliances and make treaties,

make war and peace, sustain an army and navy, coin money, establish a postal

service, create admiralty courts, and settle disputes between states. Thus,

the power vested in Congress allowed it to operate with moderate control

over the states. Another successful point was in the allowance of

equal votes in Congress for each state and the decree that most decisions

be decided by majority vote.

However, through these articles, the United

States government lacked a sufficient system of taxation. Under the Articles

of Confederation the Congress had no power to tax the states, instead it

depended on donations by the states. The states desired moderate government

involvement and thus, were repulsed by the idea of federal taxation. Lacking

in adequate funding, inflation soon overwhelmed the nation. Another

obstacle in effective governing was that The Articles did not grant Congress

the power to enforce its laws, instead depending on voluntary compliance

by the states. In place of executive and judicial branches, The Articles

created an inefficient committee system branching out of Congress.

Most importantly, any amendment to the Articles of Confederation required

the ratification by all the states, a measure that virtually eliminated

any chance of change.

The negatives of The Articles gradually

magnified. The British refused to evacuate from forts in the American

Old Northwest. Finally, Shay’s rebellion in Massachusetts symbolized

the feebleness of the nation, and inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation.

Although, some states opposed a radical change in governmental form , it

was inevitable by 1787.

The Articles of Confederation provided

effective management of expansion for the United States. It also gave Congress

ample control over guidance of the country. However, The Articles were

insufficient in several important matters. Without an executive branch

the country lacked a clear, decisive leader. The Congress had no

power to lay and collect taxes, nor did it possess the power to enforce

its laws, making it virtually dependent on the states. On matters of amendment

The Articles left little room for change, relying on an unanimous decision

to alter it. Despite, success in expansion policies, The Articles of Confederation

was a failure in creating a prosperous and efficacious country that could

support and defend itself and its people.


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