The Articles Of Confederation Verses The Constitution

1310 words - 6 pages

The Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777 were accepted by Congress, but not ratified by all the states until March 1, 1781, Maryland was the last state to ratify. The Articles were a humble attempt to form a national government by a new country trying to unite itself. The Articles of Confederation, however, wanted the states to have the majority of the power. The Articles government was very weak, but this was done on purpose, because after finally gaining independence from Britain, they feared that a strong central government would lead to an empowerment of another monarchy. Alexander Hamilton called for a convention to be held in Massachusetts to advise congress to “render the ...view middle of the document...

The reason for the upper and lower house happened to be because many states wanted the number of representatives to be selected in different ways. Throughout the Articles of Confederation all the states were equally represented, the larger states felt as though they deserved more say in the way the country was run. The smaller states, New Jersey and Delaware, disagreed with the larger states and this is what led to the Connecticut Compromise. The Connecticut Compromise, also known as the “Great Compromise” resolved the issue of equal representation by having the Senate to be equally represented regardless of population. The House of Representatives allowed for one representative for a set number of people. At this time, the North and South were fighting over whether or not slaves were to be counted as a full person, when in the south they were considered property. The issue of slaves being counted as people was resolved on July 1, 1787 with Benjamin Franklin as the head of the “Great Compromise”. The Great Compromise was where the lower house would be based on populating with each slave to be counted as three fifths of a person. The 3/5 compromise stated that slaves were to be counted as 3/5 a person and direct taxation, even though they did not have any rights and were given no voice in government.
Another major conflict between the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation happens to be taxes. Under the Articles of Confederation the government was not given the power to levy taxes: this power was given to the states. William Patterson of New Jersey wanted to reform the Confederation and give it the power to tax, but no state accepted the reform request. The government was forced into requesting funds from each state which was very unreliable. Under the articles, congresses had no power to tax or regulate the interstate or commerce. The Constitution, however, allowed the House of Representatives to tax and raise revenue. The Congress was allowed to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and exercises. These funds were necessary at the time to fund the Army, Navy, and many other national services. Without the government granting this function, the country would not be able to stay afloat. What came along with this conflict was the power to regulate trade, which caused many problems. States began to place tariffs on each of the other state’s goods. This led to a drastic decline in intrastate commerce. Many states decided it was time to print their own money, and the national currency became pretty much worthless. Since the government could not regulate trade, other countries placed tariffs and trade restrictions on U.S. goods and the U.S. was not able to respond. Since they did not have a strong navy, this left U.S. merchant ships in danger of getting attacked by pirates. The weakness of the national government to raise an army left the US weak and in danger towards threats.
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