Foundations Of The Constitution: Articles Of The Confederation

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When faced with the responsibility of creating a new government for their new nation, the founders' most logical choice was a loose confederation of states with a weak federal or central government. Unfortunately, a confederation too loose or a government too weak does not a nation make, and failure ensued. Yet still, questions of motivation, method, and mentality ensue.

The Articles of Confederation were a simply answer to the question every member of the elite found themselves asking after the revolution: what now? A confederation is, by definition, a loose alliance between independent states, bound together for common defensive goals. A confederation allows for the least amount of restrictions on the state level, giving the individual states the most power by tipping the scales of federalism. A confederacy ensures individual state's autonomy "“ a concern the founders had voiced since before the revolution. Providing restrictions on the government, allowing the states to maintain their individual identities, and an inability to tax or reporportion funds from state to state, the Articles of confederation established a weak yet attractive government.

The "˜oppression' of King George and mother England had alienated the Elites enough to swing the governmental pendulum to the polar opposite side.

The very decision to form a confederation was on the idea that it would remain weak; however, its weakness proved to be the undoing of the nation. The Articles of Confederation ensured that each state would receive one vote in congress, that passage of a bill had to be unanimous, and that congress would have absolutely no power to tax the populous. Furthermore, each state had its own trade and foreign policy regulations, its own monetary units, and its own militia. What some called a weak central government, some viewed as a non-existent federal government. The Articles of Confederation...



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