Articles and Constitution 2 Initially the Article of Confederation had been written during a time of “wartime urgency”, with the congress feeling a need to have a strong central government (History.com Staff, 2009). Although their fear of a powerful central government stopped, the creation of the central government they thought would be needed to win the war against Great Britain. This fear also created the problems that they found in the Articles of Confederacy (History.com Staff, 2009). In the end the initial draft of the Articles had road blocks that almost caused it to not become approved by all the states as required by congress. Even after the problems that delayed its ratification there still had issues that were never settled (History.com Staff, 2009). Claims to the western lands delayed the ratification by Maryland; due in part to other states charters claimed much of the land around them. After “land speculators” claims, Thomas Jefferson “persuaded his state to yield its claim to the West” with the provision that congress reject the spectators demands; the land to the west had become divided and would be admitted into the Union as the original thirteen (History.com Staff, 2009). The Articles of Confederation had eighteen articles in all, the first of which named the Confederacy as “The United States” the second article was to “unite themselves so as never to be divided by any Act” (Library of Congress, n.d.). The third article stated that the colonies will
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Analyze the degree to which the Articles provided an effective form of government with respect to any two of the following: Foreign Relations, Economic Conditions, or Western Lands
In 1777, the states enacted the Articles of Confederation to preserve democracy and prevent tyranny from those who sought to centralize power. But in their efforts to keep their independence, the states created a weak central government that was unable to improve an insolvent economy and poor foreign relations.
Although the confederation gained some substantial powers, the crucial powers to tax and regulate commerce remained with the individual states. Each state passed their own currency, and therefore created inflation and made…show more content…
stated “the Articles were to impotent to govern.” Lastly, no judicial system was provided for to enforce laws and therefore allowed for insurrections such as Shay’s Rebellion. In addition, to pass legislation required a unanimous consent and more than not a single dissenting vote prevented the ratification of strong economic bills. Overall, the Articles were ineffective in improving the economic state of the new nation.
Although Thomas Paine (Common Sense) believed that the Articles and decentralization was a logical choice of government after the strict rule of the British, the Articles inherently divided the interests of the thirteen colonies. Following the war for Independence, foreign relations with Britain and Spain was tense at best, but division of the states made relations worse. American delegates had to satisfy the needs of thirteen sovereign states, and therefore any resulting treaty was regarded by the minority as a failure. Such was the case in the Jay Gardoqui treaty in which John Jay created a deal for East Coast merchants but at the expense of the interests of the West and South. In addition, a lack of national unity allowed Britain and Spain to continue to subvert the new nation by increasing hostilities with the Indians. Unless a strong a central government was created, the confederation would not be taken seriously by European powers. The British believed that the new nation could not survive and therefore continued to have military