Everyone knows of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They are so popular primarily because of how great these two documents were. However, upon hearing the Articles of Confederation, many people raise their eyebrows in confusion. The Articles of Confederation are not quite popular, and one reason may be because of how horrible of a failure they were.
Surprisingly enough, many Americans were actually in favor of the Articles of Confederation, saying that they gave the states the ability to voice their own opinions and rule the way they choose. But because the states were allowed to govern their way, they gave very little money to the government. This caused the government to fall in debt of the loans they had from many countries. In February of 1783, Virginian delegate Joseph Jones even wrote to George Washington telling him about "the inability of Congress to pay their [public creditors] demands, unless furnished with the means by the several States" (document C).
This also prevented the army from being paid. If the government were able to tax the states, then it could have paid off most of the debts very quickly.
The states running themselves also resulted in an absence of unity. During the war, the states were easily united, because "then we had a fixed object" -- freedom (document G). But now that that had been granted, each state stood alone in their needs and wants. Moreover, the fact that the states each had their own constitution did not help the unity complication in the least bit.
Seeing how divided the states were, many other countries realized how weak the new nation was. John Jay was upset because "all of the posts and territories [belonging to the United States] ... are now held by British garrisons" (document...