Why did the United States dump the Articles of Confederation for the Constitution of 1787?

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On June 12, 1776, the Continental Congress appointed a committee, consisting of one delegate from each of the thirteen states, for the purpose of setting up a cohesive Federal Government. Headed by John Dickinson, the committee presented a draft of the Articles of Confederation to Congress a month later. Though the Articles were not officially ratified until five years later, Congress began operating under them in 1777. The delay that occurred during the years from drafting to ratification was partially caused by the opening of a multi-faceted debate that encompassed the issues of representation for citizens, the balance of power within the country, and state sovereignty. Densely-populated states wanted a system of representation based on population, while the more sparsely-inhabited states disagreed. The Federalist Party wanted a small federal government, but common sense demanded a balance in size. Everyone wanted the question of state sovereignty answered. The Articles of Confederation attempted to answer these questions, but instead, only succeeded in creating an ineffectual, self-contradictory government that required reform. This reform came in the form of the Constitution of 1789. Commensurate representation was the first issue faced by the Confederation Congress. The Articles mandated a continuation of the structure used during the Revolutionary War, whereby each state had one vote in Congress, but some of the states disagreed. “If distance made unreasonable the notion that the thirteen colonies could be well governed from London, distance made almost equally far-fetched the notion that the thirteen states could be well governed by a single national government” (McDonald). Thus, the large states advocated a form of repres... ... middle of paper ... ...ver be passed and creating an inflexible government. The Continental Congress, renamed the Confederation Congress after the Articles of Confederation were ratified, was not an ineffectual body. It led the United States through a war against Great Britain, gained independence, negotiated the Treaty of Paris, and set up an unprecedented system of government. Ultimately, however, this government did not solve many of the new nation’s problems. The ruling document of this Congress, the Articles of Confederation, created a government without the power necessary to perform the tasks it was charged with and claimed the states were sovereign nations while depriving them of essential powers. Works Cited Schweikart, Larry, and Michael Allen. A Patriot's History of the United States: from Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror. New York, NY: Sentinel, 2007. Print.
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