Presentation on theme: "The Articles of Confederation The first national constitution for the United States was called the Articles of Confederation."— Presentation transcript:
The Articles of Confederation The first national constitution for the United States was called the Articles of Confederation.
A confederacy is a loose alliance of independent states or nations. States had established constitutions prior to the signing of the Articles of Confederation. The creators of the Articles were careful to protect the individual rights and freedoms established in state constitutions. The Articles of Confederacy contained a preamble, thirteen articles (sections), and a conclusion.
The Articles contain some important contradictions and flaws. The preamble says that the Articles are for a “perpetual Union” among the thirteen states. However, Article II maintains that “Each state retains its sovereignty, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” Contradictions and flaws in the Articles of Confederation caused many problems for the United States after the Revolution was won.
Confederation Issues Over time, it became obvious that there were serious flaws in the Articles of Confederation.
Many states did not ratify (approve) the Articles of Confederation until 1778 or later. By 1787, delegates were meeting to revise the Articles of Confederation. State representatives were so obsessed with not having a king rule the Americas that the Articles of Confederation failed to create an executive branch. Without an executive branch, states were left on the honors system to implement plans enacted by Congress.
There also was no judicial branch under the Articles of Confederation. Disputed between states, state governments and citizens, and citizens from different states were to be decided by the state legislatures or Congress.
The people of Vermont had broken away from New Hampshire; there was a virtual state of war between these two regions. Territory west of the Appalachian Mountains and north of the Ohio River was claimed by Virginia, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Georgia claimed land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River.
Finally, regardless of the population of a state, each state had one vote concerning any issues in Congress. For an act to pass Congress, nine of the thirteen states had to agree to it. This left the Articles too weak to settle many disputes in the United States.
Economic Issues and the Articles of Confederation The Articles of Confederation failed to establish a fair, working economy for the United States.
Article VIII of the Articles of Confederation established a common treasury to pay for national defense. But, the Articles left the authority for collecting taxes in the hands of individual state legislatures. States argued among themselves concerning what was a “fair” contribution toward common defense. The United States had huge war debts to pay to France. Without an impartial tax system, some states refused to pay toward the debt. This caused problems creating any alliances with other nations after the United States gained independence. Article IX granted Congress the power to regulate the value of money “struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective states”.
But there was no government body specifically created to regulate money and trade. States were, once again, left on the honors system. The New England economy was based on merchant trading. The Middle Colonies’ economy was based on farming. The Southern Colonies’ economy was based on plantation crops and subsistence farming. Each region had different economic interests, and the Articles of Confederation failed to create a regulatory system for uniting the American economy.