Articles of confederation

Essay by lckyankhHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.0

The Articles of Confederation were the first constitution of the United States. The Articles were in force from March 1, 1781, to June 21, 1788 until the current constitution was adopted. After the Revolutionary War, the committee writing the Articles was wary of a strong central government and decided to give the largest amount of power to the individual states and limited the power of the federal government. While the Articles protected the states from a supreme government they left the Congress without the power to govern effectively as well.

One of the biggest problems the government had under the articles of confederation was the inadequate management of money. Without the power to levy taxes, the newly formed United States was in severe debt. The government could not pay off the debts it had acquired during the revolution, like paying the militaries that had fought in the war and paying the citizens who had helped the cause.

States ignored Congress' request for money, failing to see that the government required money to keep the country stable. But the lack of taxes wasn't the only problem with the economy. England was still demanding the debts from before the war and England's trade restrictions was also having an affect on the economy. The United States population was also growing but people had nowhere to sell or trade their goods adding a bigger slump to the failed economy.

The economy wasn't the only problem the United States experienced under the Articles of Confederation, they also could not control the states, they could not regulate trade and they could not enforce any of the laws they decided to pass. With this lack of jurisdiction the central government had almost no respect and couldn't accomplish very much. The United States also had trouble controlling...