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The Articles Of Confederation in USA

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    The Confederation Government is the first system of government designed by a committee of the Continental Congress, the convention of representatives from the Thirteen Colonies. this government was based on the principles of the Articles of Confederation which were created after the Revolutionary War. Even though this system helped set up the framework for U. S. Constitution which led to a strong centralized government and the prosperity of the United States, it was doomed to failure because of the consequence of having a weak federal government’s inability to govern the new country.

    It all started with the fear of having a strong national government, due to the British experience, which pledged many colonists to be loyal to their individual states. In June of 1776, when the Continental Congress was prepared to announce independence, they began to think about the creation of a new government which would replace royal authority. Reaching agreement on the Articles of Confederation, the first national constitution, become difficult as members of the Continental Congress argued over the claims of western land, the representation of states as well as the expenses of the new government and how it would be covered. Illustrating all the issues and coming to a solution which was agreed by all thirteen colonies have delayed four years to plan our first national government. (Openstax, 2019)

    The weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation soon led to such problems that made our founding father realized it would not be fixable under the current form of government. One of the first major flaws of the articles was the unicameral legislature, where the general colonists could not vote directly for members of the national Congress, instead, state legislatures decided who would represent the state. The National Congress, however, was composed of state delegations. So, there was no president or executive office of any kind nor national judiciary for the United States. This made passing a law difficult. Since there was no central authority to regulate, it took the consent of nine states for any measure to pass, and amending the Articles required the consent of all the states. This was extremely hard to achieve because each legislature will only approve the law which is beneficiary to them.

    Further, any acts imposed by the Congress were non-binding. In other words, Congress had power to pass laws but no power to enforce it. So, states are not bound to obey the laws that Congress passed. They had the option to follow them or ignore them totally. This made the central government even weaker. This meant that even though the Congress had power over Indian affairs and foreign policies, individual states could choose whether to follow it or not. (Openstax, 2019)

    Another major fact was that the Congress did not have the power to tax citizens of the United States. This had a serious consequence for the republic. During the Revolutionary War, in 1784, the national debt went up to the tens of millions because of the payment for militias as well as supply them. To overcome the debt some members of the Congress were concerned about the financial health and argued that the national government needed greater power, especially the power to tax. Those members are soon to known as nationalists. This group included Washington’s chief of staff, Alexander Hamilton, Virginia planter James Madison;

    Pennsylvania’s wealthy merchant Robert Morris, and Pennsylvania lawyer James Wilson. Two New Yorkers, Gouverneur Morris and James Duane also joined the effort to address the debt. They offered a 5 percent tax on imports which would yield enough revenue to clear the debt. However, they failed to do so because it did not make meet the required consent from the states as the amendment stated.

    Soon, the Congress failed to pay back American creditors who had lent it money, hence, to thousands of veterans, including Joseph Plumb Martin, who had fought against the British and secured independence. This again illustrated the weakness of the Confederation government and upraised political divisions. (Openstax, 2019)

    The weakness was also found in establishing workable foreign and commercial policies. Since each state could decide whether to comply with treaties between Congress and foreign countries. As a result, many Countries, including Great Britain and Spain, refused to make commercial agreements as well as didn’t take The United States Seriously due to this unorganized trading System. Furthermore, for that same instabilities, American exporters found it difficult to do business, and British goods flooded U.S. markets in the 1780s, which have caused a terrible economic imbalance. (Openstax, 2019) On top of that, each state had its Own Currency. All the states Could print out their own form of currency. This created conflicts on interstate commerce since each state had their own laws.

    The most important weakness, which probably led to change of this government system was having no authority over the military by Congress. When the economic crisis came to a head in 1787 in western Massachusetts, where farmers, veterans, and other citizens were in a difficult position due to high inflation and debt, a rebellion broke down known as Shays’ Rebellion. It came to its climax in January 1787, when the rebels attempted to seize the federal armory in Springfield, Massachusetts. Even though the state militia was able to control the rebellion, it pointed out the inability of the central government to maintain law and order.

    Despite all these major flaws, the article of Confederation did manage to achieve success through the instructions known land ordinances, which were rules for the settlement of western lands in the public area and the admission of new states to the republic. The purpose was to prepare the land for sale to citizens to raise revenue and help the failing economy. “In the land ordinances, the Confederation Congress created the Mississippi and Southwest Territories and stipulated that slavery

    would be permitted there.” (Openstax, 2019) this division vast domain stands as the blueprint for American western expansion. It was first written by Thomas Jefferson in 1784, also known as Northward Ordinances, which pointed new states to be formed from the land below Great Lakes and have equal standing with the original states. In 1785, the government divided the land into rectangular plots, sold at public auction under the direction of the Confederation, and had land aside for schools and other civic purposes. This ordinance had actually given the geometric pattern of today’s American landscape. (Openstax, 2019)

    In Conclusion, The main cause of the failure of the Articles of Confederation was the weak central government. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states were sovereign, which meant the states controlled the federal government. The federal government’s lack of power greatly contributed to the government is weak and ineffective. Shay’s Rebellion proved that people were turning to violence, which demonstrated the government’s inability to govern. When there isn’t the astrong government, there is no law or order, and that’s exactly what happened under the Articles of Confederation with Shay’s Rebellion.

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