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.
There was no executive branch to enforce any acts passed by Congress, nor a national court system. Also, amendments to the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote. This soon in practice proved to be a failure, and a new Constitution was adopted which created a stronger federal government with considerable powers to handle domestic issues (Bridenbaugh 155). In the creation of the United States, the states held a majority of the power with the authority to tax and possess militia. Here is the problem, the national government was given the powers to conduct war, but war will inevitably seize power from the states in order for the federal government to properly wage it.
During the Revolutionary War, the Americans fought over half the war without a federal government. That was recognized, and some of the problems were fixed by 1777 with the Articles of Confederation. Because there was no federal government, the Continental Congress had to take on an enormous amount of responsibilities. They had to create the Continental Army, print money, manage trade and most of all they had to analyze and deal with the national debt. The Continental Congress were completing these tasks and did not have approval from the People or some other power.
In the period directly following Cornwallis’s surrender, the fresh nation discovered a new task, governing their now-sovereign territories. A meeting of the minds, of the upper echelon of society, was convened to draft a document that would lay out the blueprints for the inaugural government. The resulting document was the Articles of Confederation. The Articles turned out to be a horrible system in practice. In theory they prevented central abuse of power by not allocating relevant power to the government and disallowing a head of state, a president.
Soon after the Revolutionary War in America, a new government was started when the Articles of Confederation were adopted by the Continental Congress. The Articles set up a democratic government that gave the States the power to make their own laws and to enforce them. However, the Articles were ineffective and failed to provide a strong government. During this critical period in the history of the United States, pandemonium and anarchy were growing due to: controlled public, nothing in the Articles that gave Congress the power to enforce laws, no solid monetary system, and also the country lacked unity and strength The Articles were ineffective because Congress only had the power to recommend actions to the States. It could not enforce its recommendations or laws.
These powers were suddenly limited because Congress was given no authority to enforce its requests to the states for money or troops. By 1786, it was specious that the Union would soon break up if the Articles of Confederation were not corrected or replaced. There were five states that met in Annapolis, Maryland, to discuss the concern, and all the states were invited to send delegates to a new constitutional convention to be held in Philadelphia. On May 25, 1787, delegates representing every state except Rhode Island assembled at Philadelphia's Pennsylvania State House for the Constitutional Convention. The Independence Hall had earlier seen the recruiting of the Declaration of Independence and the signing of the Articles of Confederation.
Another factor of the Articles' ineffectiveness was that Congress was in essence tied in its authority. After the war, the colonists trusted no ultimate authority; not even one they designed. It could not regulate commerce, so what resulted was thirteen colonies with different taxations and tariff laws. This only added to the already present feelings of dislike and distrust which had existed between the colonies since they were first established. After this period of eight years, the "Critical Period", the light at the end of the tunnel arrived with Thomas Jefferson writing the Constitution.
The states refused to pay taxes to the federal government, thereby making a federal debt default imminent. The lack of credit and taxing power rendered Congress impotent to defend the sovereignty of the new nation, and unable to protect its commercial interests, or... ... middle of paper ... ...xes as a condition to vote. In 1971, the Twenty-sixth Amendment lowered the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen. Since the unanimous elections of George Washington in the Eighteenth Century, the federal government has repeatedly extended the political and civil rights of Americans with Amendments to our Constitution and laws passed by our Congress. Today, all states choose their electors by popular vote.
In 1777, the Continental Congress created the Articles of Confederation to serve as Americas first Constitution. The agreement could not withstand the test of time and as a result it was ratified many times. Although the Articles of Confederation served as a helpful blue print for the establishment of America, it lacked many key issues. In September 1787, the Constitution was formed and is still used today. In 1777, the United States was separated into thirteen colonies that acted much like individual countries.
The fifty-five delegates who met in the Old State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia did more than revise the Articles: they drafted a new document as a replacement. From May 14th through September 17th, they considered plans an... ... middle of paper ... ...between the states. This lead to The Constitutional Convention which was created to a government with enough power to act on a national level, but without so much power that any fundamental rights would be at risk. One way that this was accomplished was to separate the power of government into three branches, which included checks and balances on those powers to assure that no branch of government, gained supremacy. Now some strength the Constitution has are setting our basic human rights (amendments), fairness and equality to all, separation of powers, separation of church and state, the limitation to power in terms of office, separate voting times.