The Constitutional Convention Essay

643 words - 3 pages

Weak Articles of Confederation, a Congress without power to raise taxes, a collection of states in debt from the Revolutionary War and local rebellions from frustrated citizens led to the decision to call for the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Stemming from the causes of the Revolutionary War, the Articles of Confederation were intentionally structured in such a way as to create a limited central government. Just a few years after the ratification of the Articles the structure of the burgeoning country was teetering. “…international weakness and domestic economic turmoil led many Americans to consider whether their newly adopted form of government might not already require revision” (Lowi 40).
The colonies had fought hard to escape the tyranny of Britain and worked to craft a working constitution that reflected their desire to escape an all-powerful government. The Articles centered around the Congress which was given the limited power of the declaration of wars, signing of treaties, coinage of money and regulation of trade with the Native Americans. It did not have the power to raise taxes and left the tax collection to the states. Additionally, the states were not bound together by the Articles in a cohesive manner. In fact, the states could fight with one another for trade with foreign entities. Money was shipped from the states to Europe through trade and left the states poor. State taxes were high and many land owners were in debt and in order to prevent foreclosures on their land, one group of farmers in Massachusetts, led by Daniel Shay, rebelled against the government to shut down the county courts that were hearing the debtor’s cases. The Massachusetts rebels in Shay’s rebellion also “terrified the state government by attempting to capture the federal arsenal at Springfield” (Lowi 41). This prompted a request for Congressional help to quell the insurrection and startled the state government. As reported by a citizen of Massachusetts at the...

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