Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution

Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution

            The foundation of the United States can be better understood by taking a close look at, and sometimes comparing, the pivotal documents upon which the republic was formed.   An excellent example of this is the comparison between the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution.  Broadly speaking, both documents were prepared, ratified and put into practice as formative instruments to structure both the government on the national level and the ways, or in some instances lack of ways, that each document affords certain rights.  To be more specific, the Articles of Confederation, in addition to affirming the break of the American colonies from the control of the British crown, established a national government as did the Constitution (Manley & Dolbeare, 1987).  However, the two documents are vastly different in that the Articles give ultimate authority to a national Continental Congress, whereas the Constitution provides for a Congress, but also checks and balances between national and states rights, whereas the Articles provide no state rights and therefore no checks and balances.  Therefore, it can be said that these documents are very different, despite confusions that they are the same.

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References

The Case against the Constitution: From the Antifederalists to the Present - Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution introduction. Ed. John F. Manley and Kenneth M. Dolbeare. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe,

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