The Articles of Confederation Essay

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Details:What were the main deficiencies in the articles of confederation, which the constitution was designed to alleviate? What form of government came out of this remediation effort? why has the ensuing document/system weathered the changes brought about by the past 200+ years so successfully?

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The articles of Confederation formulated a government structure that would unify thirteen states that had participated in the revolutionary war to make a common government. The articles were put into effect on March 1, 1781 and lasted for eight years up to 1789 when they would be replaced by the US constitution. Why would the articles only last 8 years? Why did they fail? The articles only served to create a confederacy of states in which each state retained its independence, sovereignty, freedom, power, and jurisdiction without being delegated to it by the congress. The United State would only be responsible for security of liberties, common defense, and general welfare (Scheb, 71).




Prominent among the troubles of post revolutionary America were the deficiencies the Articles of Confederation. It would be argued that the new United States just ended what would be considered the authoritarian rule of a strong government that crushed local government. The leaders of the U.S. had fears for a powerful central government.  For this reason, the central government was deprived of the powers it needed to rule effectively.  Under the Articles of Association, the congress did not have powers to tax; this resulted in the government printing money that caused inflation. The congress has no control over interstate commerce or limit states from printing their money; this caused a massive economic stalemate in the US. The congress did not have the power to press tariffs on foreign commodities; this weakened the American business operations that could not adequately compete with cheap commodities from Britain. Moreover, the American government lacked a chief executive who would enforce the laws that were passed.


With the articles, the states would argue among themselves. There was no financial support for the central government. Without a common head, the central government had no powers to enforce the laws it passed. With most states having their own military, some started making treaties with foreign powers. Other flaws that were eminent with the articles of confederation included the fact that each state had only one vote in the Congress irrespective of the size. Another deficiency was that it called for a unanimous vote to amend the articles of Association. Additionally, there was a weak judicial system since the government lacked a national court system. Moreover, laws required a 9/13 majority to be passed in congress.



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