Articles Of Confederation

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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1. The articles of confederation were written with many weaknesses that were then changed in the formulation of the federal constitution. They were written to enforce very little governmental authority. Under the articles there was a loose confederation of states that were trying to get through the hard times, and problems of post war depression. One major weakness that the articles contained was the fact that a unanimous vote was needed to pass an amendment. This made the process of amendment passing very difficult because all the states had to be in total agreement in order for the amendment to pass. Also, the congress had no power over commerce, which made it impossible to regulate foreign, and state-to-state trade. Another great weakness of the articles was the fact that they had no power to act on any single person or state, which made for a very weak government, which was barely in control.

Lastly, the most important downfall of the articles, it gave the congress no power to levy taxes. One can say that this could be the most important issue because those taxes that they had failed to collect, could have been just the revenue the government needed to set things straight and get the country back on it's feet again.

Although the articles of confederation were written with minor amounts of governmental power, they served as a good example for the writing of the constitution. The weaknesses of the articles were transformed into the strengths of the constitution, which helped in the balancing of central and local government. Perhaps the articles were written with weaknesses because they knew it was an early form of government, and the confederation was still skeptical of executive power.