The Articles Of Confederation Essay

901 words - 4 pages

The Articles of Confederation

The colonists were living in a brand new country that had no track record. Considering that the articles of confederation had no precedent to follow, and no other government to imitate; the articles were fairly good. However, the Articles of Confederation could have been more effective than they were. Effective does not necessarily mean that the government was strong. It does mean that the government was able to provide the people with the kind of government they wanted and needed. Also, ineffective does not necessarily mean weak. The Articles were deliberately written for a weak central government, the colonists set it up they way they wanted to. Despite the fact that they one the revolutionary war, and they now realized that they were able to work together, they feared that a central government would cause each state to loose the civil rights which they have already gained. Therefore, the colonists deliberately made a weak central government. However, the kind of government which the people set up, through their own will created much uncertainty. The industrious people preferred security and quite and the government held too much uncertainty for them. If there is too much uncertainty, then they will agree to anything that will give them the security that they want. (Document G)

     The Articles of Confederation set up a unicameral Congress in which each state had one vote. The executive authority would be in a committee of thirteen. The rights which the Articles gave to the federal government were very limited. It was very difficult to get anything done because in order to add an amendment or change something a unanimous decision was required. The powers which were given to the federal government by the Articles of Confederation include: the authority to make war and treaties, as well as the ability to determine the amount of troops and money each state can contribute. However, there was no way for them to enforce it. The federal government also had the power to borrow money and admit new states into the Union. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government could not levy taxes because the states were in charge. The Confederation could not draft troops; they are only able to suggest which states should contribute based on their population. They were also unable to regulate commerce, only the state itself had the ability to do so.

     Although the Articles may have been effective, not everyone has the same needs or wants. What is good for one state may not necessarily be good for another. For example, Rhode Island was a small state, whose main income came mostly from trading. Therefore, when Congress wanted to make an impost...

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