preview

Articles of Confederation vs. Constitution

Satisfactory Essays
Articles of Confederation vs. Constitution There were many differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. At the end of the American Revolution the free states needed some sort of control that would generate to a unified country. Issues arose such as: How should power be divided between local and national governments? How should laws be made, and by whom? Who should be authorized to govern those laws? How could the government be designed to protect the unalienable individual rights? Their first attempt at solving this issue was the Articles of Confederation, which was a failure for the most part, but not completely. After the failure of the articles, the state delegates tried to revise the articles, but instead, constructed the Constitution. There were so many changes made and very little remained the same. The thirteen states formed a Confederation referred to as the “league of friendship” in order to find a solution for common problems such as foreign affairs.The Articles of Confederation was the nation’s first Constitution. The articles created a loose Confederation of independent states that gave limited powers to the central government. Each state would have one vote in the house of Congress, no matter the size of the population. Members of the one-house Congress, such as Pennsylvania, agreed that the new government should be a unicameral legislature, without an executive branch or a separate judiciary. Under the articles, there wasn’t a strong independent executive. There wasn’t any judicial branch but Congress had the authority to arbitrate disputes between states. Congress was responsible for conducting foreign affairs, declaring war or peace, maintaining an army and navy and a variety of other lesser functions. But the articles denied Congress the power to collect taxes, regulate interstate commerce and enforce laws. Because of this, the central government had to request donations from the states to finance its operations and raise armed forces. The states attempted to limit the power of the national government because they feared that it would become a monarchy. In an effort to limit the power of the national government, Congress created one without enough power to govern effectively, which led to serious national and international problems. One of the main weaknesses under the Articles of Confederation was its incapability to regulate trade and levy taxes. The states controlled all of their “cash flows.” Sometimes, the states were in debt because of tariff wars that they would engage in with one another.
Get Access