Articles Of Confederation Dbq

1267 Words6 Pages
After their triumph in the American Revolution, colonists came together as one to forge the United States of America and to reorganize the colonies after the war. The Articles of the Confederation were America’s first form of self-government. During the time period in which they were in use, there effectiveness were tested through events dealing with foreign relations, economic conditions and the settlement of western lands. Although the Articles experienced some success in dealing with western land, the general effectiveness of the Articles was poor and created potential problems for the young nation. Under the Articles of Confederation its powers included conducting foreign relations, settling disputes between states, controlling maritime…show more content…
In the beginning for the Articles to take effect, all 13 states had to ratify, or approve, it. One major issue blocked ratification: control of the Allegheny Mountains and the land beyond, just east of the Mississippi River. On the basis of their old royal charters, several states claimed vast tracts of western land. States without land claims wanted the other states to surrender their holdings to the new national government. This conflict among the states centered around the need for money. Congress expected each state to help pay for debts . States with western lands, which could be sold to settlers, had additional sources of revenue. States without surplus land faced the prospect of raising taxes- never a popular course of action. Leaders from some states without western territory, particularly maryland, refused to ratify the articles unless the larger states gave up some of their western landholdings. Virginia was the first to do so, in 1781. Without the state's' cooperation, the government could take no action to deal with these problems, Members of congress knew, however, that western land remained a problem. To regulate the distribution of the land, Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785. This ordinance marked off the land into townships and divided each township into 640-acre tracts. The ordinance permitted the cash sale of these tracts for not less than one dollar per acre and reserved one section of each township for the establishment of a school. Two years later, Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1787. Which is more commonly known as the Northwest Ordinance, this act established a system for governing the Northwest Territory. The ordinance set a precedent that would also be used for settling territories farther west. In addition to creating a system of government for the territory and a process for establishment of states,
Open Document