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The Articles Of Confederation (A Document Based Question) (Documents Not Included)

1077 words - 4 pages

The Articles of Confederation were passed by Congress in 1777 during the revolutionary war. They were needed to form coordination among the colonies during the Revolution. At the end of the Revolution, the colonial leaders found that the Articles were not strong enough to govern the new nation. The colonial leaders decided that they would meet at Philadelphia to draft a new Constitution. Representatives from twelve of the thirteen states arrived at Independence Hall in the spring of 1787. This Constitution established a new, stronger central government. The Articles of Confederation merely united the states under one loose confederation, but under the new Constitution, the states were united under a strong, central, democratic government.The Articles of Confederation created a central government with virtually no power. Americans were worried that the nation would become a monarchy, so their leaders gave the federal government almost no power. The federal government did not have the power to impose taxes on the states. This was a problem because the government needs the taxes paid by citizens to fund wars. The Articles had no separate executive branch leaving Congress without a president. Presidents are needed to make quick decisions like when the nation is under attack. The Articles state that any form ratifications or amendments to the Articles could only be passed by a unanimous vote from every state legislature. This was bad because as James Madison stated in document A, one small state could stop the reform of the government. The Articles of Confederation gave states the power to make their own laws and judge their own criminals. The only court cases handled by the federal government were territorial disputes between states, which were settled by the Northwest Ordinance described in document B. The federal government's only other power was to make treaties. Despite its many flaws, the Articles of Confederation helped the United States learn what was needed for their new nation's government.The end of the Articles of Confederation began with Shay's Rebellion, described in document D. Captain Daniel Shays; a veteran of the Revolution led a rebellion of veteran farmers against the wealthy government officials. These people were in debt because they were unable to pay the taxes and their mortgages. They were losing their land because they could not pay due to the fact that the government did not pay them for their service in the Revolution. Without the power to tax, the federal government did not have the money to support an army, leaving them incapable of ending the revolt. Eventually, the wealthy provided the funds necessary to raise an army, ending the revolt. Shay's Rebellion made people realize that a new, stronger central government was needed. (Stated by George Washington in document F)In the spring of 1787, delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies arrived at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with intent to revise or...

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