The Necessity of a New Constitution

Essay by SilvahHigh School, 11th grade December 2004

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The Articles of Confederation was a fairly loose agreement between the thirteen colonies that was created and ratified during the Revolutionary War. Its two most crippling weaknesses, the prohibition of taxes and commercial regulation by the national congress made it weak and ineffective until 1986, when Charles Pinckney proposed a convention for the amendment of the Articles of Confederation. The idea was further considered in the Annapolis Convention of 1786 until delegates from all of the thirteen states came together in Philadelphia in 1787 for the purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. Though scholars such as Thomas Jefferson would disagree, I believe that the framers of the American Constitution made a necessary step towards a working democracy when they broke with their plan and compromised between each other to create an entirely new document rather than merely amending the Articles of Confederation. The new constitution gave the national government new powers that would be able to expand and change according to the times, and made important advances in government throughout the world with revolutionary concepts such as those outlined in the bill of rights.

Without the innovation and bold break from their assigned purpose, the United States would have been faced with many more problems and conflicts that the Federal Constitution would have been able to handle.

The very structure of the Articles of Confederation made it almost impossible to amend, much less completely alter its goals and structure, at all. Under the Articles of Confederation, a unanimous vote was required for any amendment. Considering the many disagreements the states had over issues such as how population should affect representation in the senate, how the president should be elected, and whether or not slaves should be counted as citizens of a state, unanimous agreement on any new legislation would...