The article of confederation did not provide the US with an effective government during years 1781 to 1789. Explain?

Essay by angel4eva February 2004

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An effective government is one that will responsibly carry out and defend the wishes and rights of the people, while keeping the country stable and strong. Between the years 1781 to 1789, the Articles of Confederation did not provide the United States with an effective government. The Articles of Confederation lacked adequate powers to deal with economic, foreign commerce and foreign relations. It also did not have the power to enforce its will on the states.

The major failure of this government was the lack of power to tax the states and so, the congress did not have any money to pay off the huge National Debt and to handle economic issues of the country. Even when, the congress tried to get the states agree for a tax on imports, Rhode Island rejected it because they thought that it would be difficult to pay the taxes and also they felt that they should not grant Congress, a power to tax.

Also, the Congress failed to pay the army, since they did not have any money and the soldiers were aware of the inability of the congress to carry out their demands. This directly led to the Newburgh Conspiracy- a plan by soldiers' to pretend to take over the government, unless the Congress had the power to tax states. But then, the plan failed because George Washington was against it and all soldiers agreed with him. In spite of the huge National Debt, the Congress did hardly have any money to carry out its duties and wills.

Congress lacked the power to control foreign commerce and there was an unfavorable balance of trade under the government. During the Confederation period, exports to Britain had drastically decreased. This was because the British closed the West Indies market to any American ships and...