The Articles Of Confederation Essay

932 words - 4 pages

The Articles of Confederation, from 1781 to 1789, provided our virgin country with an efficient form government, transferring power from a monarchy to a democratic republic. The Articles were a segway, a necessary step to drawing our modern constitution. It gave our country its first taste of moderate federal control and regulation. The Articles offered its people liberty and extended basic and natural human rights, it provided equality and allowed the people to express their opinions in the form of directly elected representatives like an effective government should.However, The Articles of Confederation failed to secure our country. It left our nation utterly defenseless and divided without the existence of a standing national army and grievances among states. The national government could not spark our economy, which had fallen into recession because of the hindrances of these Articles.The Congress of the United States under the Articles of Confederation was not given the power or the authority to tax. Shackled by war debts the government was forced to beg for concessions from each individual state. However, this was merely done on a voluntary basis. The government owed a substantial amount of money, some back-pay to members of her continental army. In a letter from Delegate Joseph Jones he writes George Washington, the "discontent of the army"¦that justice is not intended"¦in complying with the requests [for bonus and back pay]." He continues that there is an "inability of Congress to pay their demands unless furnished with the means by the several states." The federalists had financial impotence. The writers of these Articles failed to recognize the needs of the national government, blinded by their quest for unbridled individual liberty. In late 1782, the Congress proposed a tax, or impost, on imported goods. However, haunted by the demon they created, the states rejected that idea. As stated by the Rhode Island Assembly, the "power to collect moneys from [these states]"¦is repugnant to the liberty of the United States." In the situation, the execution of such a proposal is rested squarely on the shoulders of the individual states themselves. Having a vested interest in only the prosperity of themselves what more could one expect from a party granted such power. There was such hysteria behind creating a tyrannical government that any form of national intervention was viewed upon as hazardous to the health of its constituents. John Jay once stated, there is a sense of "insecurity of property, [an] uncertainty." In all seriousness this government appealed to the people as it should have. Rather, it was detrimental to the lifespan of the nation. Jay continued, people "are content with their situations." The national government was not even allowed to coin its...

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