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Articles Of Confederation

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Jacob Pierce 9-30-07



The Articles of Confederation to some degree did provide an effective form of government in foreign relations, economics, and western lands. However, this effectiveness was not strong in all areas of governing. The Articles of Confederation proved to be weak in its governing style as well as in commerce and trade. However the articles did keep alive the idea of union and held the states together until the new constitution of the United States in 1787.

Foreign Relations especially with London remained troubled during 1783-1787. Britain declined to make a commerce treaty or repeal its navigation acts and also officially closed their profitable West Indies trade to the U.S. Scheming British agents were also active along the northern frontier. They were intrigued with the disgruntled Allen brothers of Vermont and sought to annex that rebellious area to Britain. Along the northern border the redcoats continued to hold a chain of fur trading posts on U.S. grounds and there they maintained their fur trade with the Indians. All these grievances against Britain were maddening to patriotic Americans. Some citizens demanded that Americans impose restrictions on their imports to the British. However in the time period between 1777- 1783 foreign relations were very good. The colonists had something good to offer under British control. The French alliance of 1778 was a pact between France and the second continental congress. It stated that the two countries agreed to aid each other in the event of British attack. The Peace of Paris of 1783 ended the revolutionary war between Britain and the U.S. It recognized the thirteen colonies as free and sovereign states. It also established boundaries between the U.S. and British lands.

Economics were workable, but not great between 1777-1783 but problems continued to loom in the mid 1780s. Many of the states refused to anything, while complaining about the tyranny of "King Congress." Many states quarreled over boundaries and some states levied from Connecticut. An alarming uprising known as Shays Rebellion flared up in western Massachusetts in 1786. Many farmers were losing their land through mortgage foreclosures and tax delinquencies. Led by Captain Daniel Shay's, in 1786 these desperate debtors demanded that the states issue paper money, duties on goods from other states. New York for, example, taxed firewood lighten taxes and suspend property takeovers. However, Massachusetts responded drastically by raising a small army and crushing Shay's followers. Eventually the Massachusetts legislature passed the laws Shay requested. Many people agreed that the articles needed some strengthening through the reconciliation of state rights and the foundation of a strong central government. Even



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