DBQ: Articles of Confederation

Essay by HSworkdefinedHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2005

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The Articles of Confederation provided the US with an effective government. Though, it was not a strong document, it satisfied the needs of the people. With a weak central government, the people were pleased, simply because they were used to the much more centrally based government of Great Britain. This weaker central government did not have total power in anything. The Articles did not allow the government to pass anything if the people did not agree with it. Effectiveness is a relative argument, varying with the subject and how it is being acted on.

This weak central government is exactly what the people of America were looking for at this time. They were accustomed to the harsh, strong federal government of Great Britain. Even after leaving, they were still being affected by the British through taxation by the federal government there. The way the Articles of Confederation distributed the power amongst the people and the different branches of the government was ideal for meeting the needs of the people at this time.

As it states in Document A, "... they would become independent of their constituents", this is referring to the States separating themselves from the federal government. When people have been exposed to strict rule for so long, they have the tendency to want to be ruled under a less powerful government when given the chance.

The central government wasn't given absolute power in any aspect of their governing duties. However, they could initiate these actions, just not follow through, very peculiar. They could tax the people, but had no way of enforcing people to actually pay these taxes, not a very proficient system. Not only could they not collect these taxes, they couldn't enforce many things at all. This is obvious in Document D, no where in the...