As a new nation, the political leaders drew from a wide range of political ideas to write the Articles of Confederation. From reading previous documents, they learned to write the Articles. Several of the previous documents were the Magna Carta, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and the English Bill of Rights. There were also political ideas from leaders such as John Locke and Thomas Pain.
But the writers of the Articles soon became aware that there were many short coming international relations. After the treaty of Paris was signed, Britain closed many of its ports to American ships. It made it hard on the United States when the British closed off the West Indies port. Britain also made the United States pay high tariffs in order to sell goods such as rice, tobacco, tar, and oil in Britain. During this same period, Spain was also taking advantage of the United States' weakness by closing the lower Mississippi River to U.S.
shipping. Treaty negotiations with Spain ended in 1786. Many state leaders began to criticize harshly the weaknesses of the national government under the Articles. Rhode Island wrote to Congress that " our federal government is but a name; a mere shadow without any substance".
There were also many internal problems under the Articles. In addition to international trade issues, trade among the states became a major problem. The Confederation Congress had no power to regulate interstate commerce. Laws varied from states to states as states adopted trade policies. Some states began issuing large amounts of paper money as a result of difficulty in trying to pay off war debts and collecting overdue taxes. Congress had no powers to stop states from issuing paper money. As a result tobacco planters were selling tobacco to the state government at double the...