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Articles Of Confederation

Essay by   •  March 3, 2011  •  623 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,528 Views

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In 1776, the Continental Congress called upon the colonies to draft a new constitution, thus forming the Articles of Confederation. The states chose the confederation as their first form of government, which created a loose union of states where a federal and state level existed, yet the state level held the most power to do their own thing. Although the confederation provided the first form of government to the states, it quickly needed to be replaced by a stronger and more organized form of government. The confederation lacked many things which made the government weak. First off, it lacked an executive branch which meant the states had no single leader, and the Congress was pitifully weak and could not regulate commerce or enforce tax collection. Also Congress had difficulty in raising an army to defend them since they couldn't draft soldiers, but only call them up. But the government was a model of what a loose confederation should be and was soon replaced by the effective U.S. Constitution.

When the Articles of Confederation was made, the thought of George III's rule left the states with a bad taste, so they didn't include an executive branch, leaving most of the power to the individual states. This was a bad idea because the states then yielded too much power and acted like their own separate countries. The Confederation was made with a weak government in mind. The reason a weak government was desired was simply to avoid a strong national government that would take away unalienable rights or abuse their power. Also a weak Congress in which state had only one vote, required a 2/3 majority on any subject of importance and a fully unanimous vote for amendments. Unanimity was almost impossible, which meant that the process of amending was unfortunately unworkable.

Also Congress was especially weak and could not regulate commerce or enforce tax collection. This left a loophole that allowed the states to establish conflictingly different laws regarding the tariffs and navigation of their goods. Congress's tax collection program was ineffective. The program established a tax quota for each of the states and then asked them to please contribute their share on a voluntary basis. Of course the states didn't contribute much and the central authority was lucky to even

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