The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Articles Of Confederation

894 words - 4 pages

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


The years 1781 to 1789, the years known as the "Critical period" were the reign of the Articles of Confederation... were those years a highlight in American history, or a time that is best to be forgotten? The argument can go either way it really depends on how you look at it. The question is; were the Articles an effective system of government? Well, while something might not be effective it can still be very necessary, and important, to the future on how the way it will be run (government). In this essay both the weaknesses and the strengths of the Articles of Confederation will be given, you can make up your mind about the effectiveness of it. The way I feel is... The Articles of Confederation, while not entirely successful, were indeed a necessary stepping-stone to today's federalist government.


Many people tend to think that the reigns of the Articles of Confederation were a complete waste of almost ten years and to some extent, they are right. The confederation style of government has many weaknesses. The Articles of Confederation gave sovereign power to each of the states to rule themselves, that isn't always a bad thing but take into effect the states' history, they couldn't agree on anything. It was hard for them to become unified while they were fighting for their independence in the American Revolution. After the states won their independence they had to set up a government, and of course they didn't want it to be anything like the British so the central government was severely lacking in power, among other things. Under the Articles of Confederation the Congress had no power to levy taxes or tariffs; that makes for a ruthless shortage of money, the only way it could gain funds was to ask the states for money even though most of those requests were ignored or only partially met. Speaking of money, the congress did have the right to print its own currency, but so did the states. Other weaknesses are: no central court that could settle disputes between people from different states, no power to build an army, no power to make and pass laws, and no power to regulate commerce foreign or local. That may seem like a lot of weaknesses, and those probably are the only ones that there are. When you have different sides in a dispute there is always the other side. In this case, where the previous were the weaknesses of the Articles, they indeed have their own strengths, and they will be noted now.


Yes, the Articles had many flaws, enough that...

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