An article of Confederation was adopted by the Continental Congress, on November 15, 1777. It was the first constitution of America. Though, ratification of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not take place until March 1, 1781. After some all the states realised that article of Confederation is inadequate to resolve the national and international issues. As a result on March 4, 1789, Articles of Confederation was replaced by the new Constitution of 1787. This new constitution was signed by the members of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia. In new constitution, members tried to strengthen the central government. The new constitution was the demand of time. It was more practical. It was broader than the article of Confederation. Under article of Confederation, states were free to form their military. But under new Constitution of 1787, this power was taken from states and given to centre. In new constitution, foreign affair and defence department was given to federal government. No state was given power to sign treaties with other nations. Some changes were also brought in the composition of congress under new constitution. Now, seats in congress were decided on the basis of population of each state.
Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
• Each state only had one vote in Congress, regardless of size.
• Congress had not the power impose tax on states.
• Congress did not have the authority to control foreign and interstate commerce.
• There was no executive branch to enforce any acts passed by Congress.
• There was no national court system.
• Amendments to the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote.
• The laws passed by the congress were invalid until it is not passed by Laws required a 9/13 majority
Strengths of the Articles of Confederation
• Brought the states together
• Was able to raise an army and navy
• Set up a postal system
• Congress was established
• Make war and peace
• Print money
On various instances, it was observed that Articles of Confederation is insufficient and ineffective to tackle the problems. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion occurred in western Massachusetts as a protest to rising debt and economic chaos. However, the national government was unable to gather a combined military force amongst the states to help put down the rebellion. Similarly, when congress decided to develop western land acquired by US through Paris treaty, congress failed to reach on any conclusion. Apart from this states were divided on the issue of debt. At the time of revolutions, many war fighters had taken loans for their farms. But as the war ended, creditors demanded their money. The people were not in position to pay back the debt so they ask the government to help them. On this issue, all the states were divided. Some of the states supported the creditors and some states supported the debtors. In some states, government put the debtors behind the prison.
Drafting of new...