Articles of Confederation

Essay by loisfesHigh School, 10th grade October 2014

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Nicole Pujol


AP US History-1

October 10, 2014

The Articles of Confederation, which was the first constitution of the Untied States implement from 1777 to 1781, was a written document that explained the functions of the United States government. This document was ineffective in foreign relations and economic conditions.

The Articles of Confederation established a weak and small central government that in the mass majority prevented the individual states from conducting their own foreign diplomacy. When dealing with foreign countries (England, North Africa, Spain, and France), the United States had a difficult time implementing useful policies. The Articles of Confederation provided Congress with almost no power over the country and foreign trade. The states faced many problems with diplomatic issues and Barbary pirates while under the Articles. Therefore the country rarely accomplished needed diplomacies during the time under the Articles of Confederation. In a journal article titled, "The Legacy of the Articles of Confederation," Jack Roave stated that the articles were "…a desultory operation."

This means that he thought that the Articles lacked necessary planning, purpose and enthusiasm. Also American delegates had to satisfy the need of thirteen states, causing any resulting treaty to be regarded as a failure by the minority of the states. Foreign relations were the biggest issue under the Articles and would not be resolved until we made the Constitution we have today.

Although the confederation gained some powers, the needed powers to tax and regulate commerce (trade) remained with the individual states. Each state passed its own currency, therefore created inflation and made Continentals (lowest coin) worthless in trade. Forced with difficulties of trading with Great Britain, the states were stressed with finding way of trade. Robert Morris, the Secretary of Finance, resorted to desperate measures with the Newburgh conspiracy in...