Saturday, October 20, 2007

To what extent were the Articles of Confederation an inadequate form of government?

The Articles of Confederation were first suggested by Richard Henry Lee in the Second Continental Congress in 1776. They carried the United States through the end of the American Revolution. However, their inability to address political and economical problems proved them to be insufficient for the new nation. They were an inadequate form of government. The Articles of Confederation lacked the power and authority to keep the nation in order when it came to both domestic and foreign affairs. They provided a weak form of government, lacking federal powers.

The Articles of Confederation gave little power to a central government. Authority was granted to individual states, leaving Congress with not right to regulate neither interstate nor foreign affairs. In addition, Congress had no authority to impose taxes. The government under the Articles of Confederation lacked a national court system, and chief executive. All these flaws lead to domestic and foreign problems.

Depression took over the nation. American industries and businesses suffered due to Britain's flooding of the American market with their goods. Inflation arouse because of a lack of uniform currency. The abundance of different currencies as well as the lack of adequate transportation also hindered trade. The Articles of Confederation did not have the power to address these problems, so matters were left in the hands of individual states. Citizens were infuriated when they imposed heavy taxes, and some farmers engaged in open revolt. Such revolts as Shays's Rebellion had political leaders calling for a strong central government.

Foreign problems also triggered the desire for a stronger government. Great Britain broke The Treaty of Paris by maintaining forts in the Northwest Territory. Also, America quarreled with Spain over territory. I was the states' job to provide troops, but the central government had no power to demand it. Within these disputes, even Britain hesitated to make commercial agreements with the United States.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Articles of Confederation was the Northwest Ordinance, which provided procedures for turning northwest territory into states. However, the need for revising the Articles of Confederation was obvious when they failed to address foreign and even domestic problems that troubled the nation. The Articles of Confederation were inadequate for the new nation.

2 comments:

Mr. Brush said...

C,

Good essay except for what I've wanted you to do and that is to start the opening paragraph with a non-fictional story as to how the AOC got to where it is. other than that-Bravo!!

B/A

MB

chris said...
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