The Articles of Confederation (A.O.C.) was the first written consitution of the United States, written in 1777 but not ratified until 1781. It created a national governement of limited powers that joined the thirteen states together in a "Firm League Friendship" with each state a separate and independent entity. The congress intentionally set up a weak government in fear that having a coercive central governement , like under the British, would threaten Americans' rights and liberties. The A.O.C. was made as the new national government; however the confederation was weak and had a difficult time addressing all of the problems of the nation.
The A.O.C. was successful in some aspects toward the new country. First it provided enough organization to lead the country through the revolution and a peace treaty that ended the war. After the war, the states gave Congress their lands west of the Appalachian mountains. ...view middle of the document...
Unfortunatley, though it was successful in solving the territorial claims of the western lands, the A.O.C. contained many weaknesses (Doc. G) and was even referred to as a crutched government (Doc. F). The Confederation was a unicameral legislature with no excutive head, cheif, or presidential figure. It only had a Confederation Congress that could not engage in foreign affairs which left America at a huge disadvantage. The Articles also allowed the thirteen states to retain sovereignty (Doc.B) and run their own affairs. Congress could pass laws but were not able to force the states to obey them.It was difficult to fix any important issues like regulate commerce because nine out of thirteen states were needed to pass legislation. Being that the states did not want to coroperate, untimately deeming the Confederation Congress worthless (Doc. E), it was eveident that the country was in need of a coercive power (Doc. C). Another huge problem was the debt that the country was in after the war and the inability of the government to deal. Congress had no power to levy taxes; instead it dependedon donations from the states. Some of the poorer people felt mistreated and felt like they were giving up all of their money (Doc. D). Their anger evenually lead to Shay's Rebellion where many of the poor people had to take out loans to keep their farms, but after the war they had no more money to pay them off. When the states did not cancel the debts the farmers were outraged and the U.S. government was needed to end the violence. The problem was that the government did not have the power to intervene. Shay's Rebellion is a perfect example of how the Articles was weak, could not handle the crisis of the country, and needed to be strengthen in order to ensure the security of the people (Doc. A.)
By 1787 it was clear that the A.O.C was in desparate need of revising. The weaknesses became crippling to the growth of the nation, so in late May delegates meet the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in order to recontruct the Confederation. The leaders of America knew what was good for the people, and they knew that power was to be in the hands of the governed and not just ordinary people.