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The Articles of Confederation

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The Articles of Confederation

As the Revolutionary War came to a close, the Continental Congress introduced a

new form of government as it instituted the Articles of Confederation. The articles

established a democratic government that granted the states sufficient power to control their own laws and regulations. However, the Articles of Confederation were ineffective and, hence; they failed to provide a strong government. During this time in an American history, often known as the “Critical Period”, regionalism and anarchism began to expand as a result of the following reasons. The Continental Congress controlled public affairs, but the Articles of Confederation neglected to grant the Congress power to enforce laws or unify the States. Under the Articles, the United States lacked a solid monetary system to ensure that taxes would be paid and to protect commerce, both nationally and foreign trade. Also, without leading national figure, the strong unity America gained during the Revolutionary War began to diminish along with the nations overall strength.

Being that Congress had only the power to recommend actions to the states, the Articles were incompetent. Law and recommendations could not be further enforced by Congress. Each state obtained its own form of a constitution, monetary system and method to enforce the laws. Each state committed strongly to the state laws and self interests rather than to the recommendations of Congress. America’s sense of unity began to plummet as regionalism pitted one state against another. For example, Rhode Island voted to reject Congress’s recommendation of an impost on imported goods because its leaders felt the idea objected the state’s constitution. (Document A)

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...ct to gain the use of the Mississippi, and it could only negotiate a treaty with Spain, but it was ineffective.

During this “Critical Period”, the Articles of Confederation failed to provide the United States with an effective and powerful government. The American sense of unification began to dissolve compared to the colonists’ attitudes during the

Revolutionary War. The states were divided separately into one nation, rather than

unified into one nation. Each state, with its own interests, currency, and government

debilitated economic progression. Congress had no authority to enforce recommendations, or to unify the states. Without the presence of a president or national court system, it became impossible to make necessary changes within the nation. If this young nation was to survive, the Articles of Confederation needed to be altered or replaced.
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