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Articles Of The Confederation Essay

1179 words - 5 pages

Introduction
When a prolonged period of objective economic and social developments is followed by a somewhat shorter period of sharp reversal, revolutions are more likely to occur. For instance, the fear of subjectively losing the ground gained with great effort is perceived to have been the backbone of American Revolutionary War, a political upheaval of the 18th century (1775 - 1783). Nonetheless, a series of social, intellectual and political transformations in the government and the American society was the primary cause of the Revolution (Book, 2012).
Before the Revolution, thirteen colonies in North America were part of the British Empire which subjected them to aristocracies and the concept of royal rule by divine right that controlled Europe at that time. The rejection of the authority of Parliament of Great Britain by the colonies to govern them and the subsequent expulsion of all the royal officials lead to the establishment of a Provincial Congress in each colony. In response to this move, the British sent combat troops as a way to re-establish its royalist control, but the Americans managed the armed conflict (Culver, 1987).
In 1776, the thirteen states declared independence after defeating the British army, but they were not yet under one central government. After the last battle of the Revolutionary War which took place in 1781, the states set up set up a federal government under laws that were known as the Articles of Confederation. Although there were many challenges that accompanied the war, including war debts and a weak military, leaders were convinced that a new government to replace the Articles of Confederation was undeniably necessary. This was attributed to the fact it came with numerous drawbacks, for instance, it had a more relaxed position towards the government, and thus forming a weaker central government (Dougherty, 2001).
Significance of the Shay's Rebellion
The Shay's Rebellion, an armed uprising that arose in 1786, was one of the most important milestones in the development of the United States’ constitution because of the perfect timing of it occurrence. It was named after its leader, Daniel Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. Essentially, the Shay's Rebellion was occasioned by a number of factors, such as economic wars over taxation, border disputes between states, and the confusion over the jurisdiction of the Confederation Congress. This threatened to break the Confederation Congress in favor of regionalized governments (Culver, 1987).
At the time of this rebellion, the flaws within the federal government as established under the Articles of Confederation were exposed. In fact, during the opening speech of the convention, James Madison (a delegate of Virginia) lamented that the federal government could not check the quarrels between states nor the rebellion in anyway. This spurred a rigorous debate on the need for a somewhat stronger central government (Culver, 1987). In essence, this was an...

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