After the defeat of the British, the United States was faced with numerous growing pains as they transitioned from a colony from ties to a well-established mother country, to a newborn country suffering from economic turmoil. During this time of turmoil, the founding fathers began to develop differing ideas on how to cultivate a prosperous nation in both an economic and political sense. It was only through debate and compromise, that this goal was achieved.
The initial agreement amongst the former colonies made for a poor national foundation. The Articles of Confederation (1777) were drafted with the idea of staying as far away from the British government model as possible and conserving state rights at all cost. Article III outlines the purpose of the agreement, and the following ten articles specify the rules deemed necessary for achieving that purpose. However, the Articles made for a weak unified front with a nearly powerless federal government. While the Articles allowed the federal government to declare war and control international affairs, it did not give the federal government the ability to commission an armed force. Neither did the Articles give the federal government the power to collect taxes in order to fund said wars, leaving them to the mercy of the states they had to ask for money from. Since the federal government had no control over tariffs and other forms of commerce regulation, trade became problematic for foreign and domestic merchants alike (Keene, Cornell, & O’Donnell, 2013).
Additionally, the required 2/3 majority rule stipulated in Article X made it difficult for the federal government to make decisions, and the Articles lacked instruction on how to deal with the cou...
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...al Humanities Center: Making the Revolution America, 1763-1791, http://americainclass.org/sources/makingrevolution/constitution/text1/foundersdefectsarticlesconf.pdf.
After the fact: Virginia, New York, and “The Federalist Papers”. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ushistory.org/us/16d.asp
Articles of Confederation. (1777). Retrieved from http://www.ushistory.org/documents/confederation.htm
Bruns, R. A. (1986). A more perfect union: The creation of the United States Constitution. Retrieved from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_history.html
Keene, J. D., Cornell, S., & O’Donnell, E. T. (2013). Visions of America: A history of the United States (2nd ed.). [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from http.vitalsource.com
The Federalist Papers. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-articles-of-confederation/the-federalist-papers/
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