Articles of Confederation were Effective
Post Revolutionary War, in 1777, the pristine leaders of the newborn United States of America realized that it was imperative that the draft and establish an effective government. The government would have to be able to unify the brand new nation and help it prosper. A strong central government was obviously not the answer for this newly freed nation. Therefore that is why the Articles of Confederation were established as a “firm league of friendship”. The Articles of Confederation should of been called the Articles of Confusion though because it was a weak foundation since it gave the states the ability to govern themselves, which created a tidal wave of negatives.
Yet those negatives turned out to be positives for our infant country in the long run. All of the negatives within the Articles of Confederation ultimately made it an effective document though because it allowed our Founding Fathers to set a sturdy foundation for future generations even if it was a shaky one.
Both the Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance of 1787, both come from two positives that materialized the legal growth of America. The Land Ordinance of 1785 was a red letter law that stated that the disputed land in the old Northwest was to be equally be divided into new townships and then sold to fund the federal government. The Ordinance was beneficial then and even now because it effectively established a system for human expansion and also put in place a good way for the country to make money. Without the innovative system that the Ordinance set in stone, the expansion of America would have been disorganized, which possibly could have resulted in more battles among pioneers ultimately hindering America’s goal to unify a blossoming nation. Secondly, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 set the foundation for statehood. In order for a state to legally become a state the territory would’ve had to have 60,000 residents. The positives from this Ordinance were legendary. The issue of slavery was effectively resolved and therefore prevented a west vs east civil war. Equal rights were also promoted for every man (slaved or not) that pathed the way for America’s democratic future just like the Founding Fathers desired. These positives that came from the Articles of Confederation were timelessly valuable. Both Ordinances established a proper system for the country to grow and flourish federal wealth. The newly established wealth and prohibition of slavery were steps towards freedom for every man.
The significant negatives in the Articles of Confederation at the time were indirectly long -term positives. The Articles of Confederation attempted to regulate how laws could be imposed and amended. According to the Articles, to add a new law, nine out of the thirteen states had to agree, which was impossible because each state wanted only what was best for their state. Also, it was nearly impossible for all thirteen states to even on a law to amend. This was all because the North and South states had different views and opinions. Due to the nonideal procedures for imposing and amending laws set forth by the Articles of Confederation, one could argue that a “bright side” was nonexistent. Yet that person would fail to remember that the Articles of Confederation were written by the Founding Fathers as what they viewed would be the best government now and for generations to come. So, yes, when the Founding Fathers realized that those regulations were impossible to work with, the Articles of Confederation were nullified. Thus acknowledging the Articles of Confederation negatives as positives made it effective because understanding that if this document could not promote prosperity for America now it sure as well would not work in the future. Other problems associated with the Articles of Confederation was that there were no military. Shay’s Rebellion, for instance, left the Massachusetts fend for itself against something that was technically caused due to the Articles of Confederation.
That is because the Articles of Confederation outlawed the federal government from imposing and collecting taxes. This made it impossible for people such as Daniel Shay and other Revolutionary War veterans to receive their pay. Without receiving their payment, Shay and others were forced to lose their farms, making it impossible to support themselves and their families. Therefore the Articles of Confederation caused problems such as Shay’s Rebellion without having a plan to help the issue because of the strict law procedurals within the document. Again, one may argue that those negatives made the Articles of Confederation ineffective because the regulations prohibited basic rights for the federal government, that person would fail to understand that it constructed to be a stepping stone “government” for generations to come. By acknowledging the negatives that came along with the Articles of Confederation it gave the Founding Fathers an example of what the government should not be like ultimately making it effective for the future of America.
Both positives and negatives made the Articles of Confederation an effective document. The positives made it effective at the time by establishing a system to purchase new land and gather income for the federal government. Even the blant negatives that almost sent the country into destruction, turned out to be positives because those circumstances compelled the Founding Fathers to become more aware of the countries specific needs. Therefore making room for the creation of the Constitution that still to this day is the law of the land. It is almost error free and includes a National Army and Navy, which the Founding Fathers would of never thought to improve without the failure of the Articles of Confederation.
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