The Articles of Confederation

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For over two-hundred years the United States has thrived under the Constitution. It has been the backbone of this country while growing from an infant into an adult. Although, the Constitution was instrumental in the maturation of America it was not the first form of government in this country. Ten years before the Constitutional Convention, Washington’s presidency, or the three branches of government; the Articles of Confederation were created. This fledgling government, proposed in 1777, was doomed to never take flight, being replaced in 1789, when the Constitution was effected under Washington. This raises the question: Why did the United States discard The Articles of Confederation for the Constitution? Ultimately, the Articles were simply a weak form of government. However, economic issues, difficulty of ratification and passing bills, and weak international weight clipped the wings of the Articles of Confederation. The weakness of the Articles of Confederation caused debilitating commercial issues. Under the Articles, every state, as well as the federal government, could legally coin their own money. While this may have seemed like a good idea, it did not work well. With each state coining money, the Continental (national) dollar vastly inflated, which culminated in its tragic collapse in the 1780’s. Also, the Articles of Confederation provided the federal government with no power to levy national taxes. Congress attempted to amend this problem but the movement failed. Although the Whigs were successful in forming a small centralized government; the Articles provided no means to raise capital with which to support itself. The Articles of Confederation, in more legal language, stated “Congress could not regula... ... middle of paper ... ...d the amendment process been achievable the Articles could have thrived. However, all of the problems previously detailed could not be remedied because of the faulty system. As a result, the weak and ineffective Articles of Confederation were replaced. The transition may not have taken place as smoothly as could have been desired as detailed in The Anti-Federalists by Forrest McDonald. But the United States was heading in the right direction, towards a form of government that would evolve and lead the country profitably for over two-hundred years. Works Cited Schweikart, Larry, and Michael Allen. A Patriot's History of the United States. N.p.: Sentinel, 2007. Print. McDonald, Forrest. "The Anti-Federalists." The Wisconsin Magazine of History Spring 1963: 206-214. JSTOR. Web. 9 Oct. 2011. stable/4633851 >.