AP US History - Articles of Confederation

Essay by aschen1992High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2008

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

*As the title indicates, this is an AP US History essay written for class. The basic gist of the topic was: To what extent were the Articles of Confederation successful.*Enlightenment idealism and political conflict served as a catalyst for war in the mid- and late-1700s. However, as vociferous as calls for freedom were, the effort for liberty was a disorganized one and stability was a problem during and after the American Revolution. The Articles of Confederation, as flawed as they were, played a large role in successfully maintaining the new nation by unifying the nation during and after the war, by regulating the handling of the Northwest, and by determining the process territories had to go through to become states.

The Articles of Confederation were most important to the new nation as a source of unity. During the Revolutionary War, the Articles tied together thirteen relatively independent states to form a confederation.

The impacts of these were two-fold. First, it created a sense of unity and was a landmark model of what a confederation “ought to be”. It provided a stepping-stone to the eventual constitution, acting as an intermediary jump to ease colonists back towards federal power. Secondly, it legitimized the American independency movement in the eyes of the French, persuading French King Louis XVI and his ministers to engage Britain in war. French assistance was key to American victory. After the Revolution, America was able to secure good terms in the Treaty of Paris under the Confederation and was able to remain a union. The unity supplied by the Articles was indispensible in this respect.

The Articles of Confederation also made vital land laws. The Land Ordinance of 1785 stated that acreage of the Old Northwest (land northwest of the Ohio River, east of the Mississippi River, and south...