After declaring independence from Great Britain, the United States needed an established document to help unify the colonies. The Articles of Confederation was the first documented “Constitution” the Unites States ever had. The Articles of confederation was created to push for the individual states to come together and act as a one. Almost being like a rough draft, this document was a loose outline for the federal government that was meant to help defend the country from foreign attacks and promote economic growth. The weak document led to the eventual ratification that allowed the nation to adopt the new and improved Constitution.
One of the first officials records of the United States was The Articles of Confederation. From the earliest starting point of the American Revolution, Congress felt it was essential for a more grounded and stronger union and a legislature sufficiently effective to thrashing Great Britain. Following a couple short years, the Articles were supplanted by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Articles were a stepping stone which prompted the Constitution however the Articles contained a larger number of shortcomings which constrained the colonists to dispose of them and create a new document. Preceding the Revolutionary War, large portions of the first thirteen colonial assemblies made regional claims to these areas which postponed the adoption of the Articles of Confederation.
The first constitution of the unites states that was ever written was called the Articles of Confederation drafted by congress on 1777. The Articles of Confederation were created to balance the need for national coordination of the war of independence. The articles made sure that each state no matter how big or populated it was only casted one vote to make it fair for everyone. The only power the articles gave the government was regarding its independence, this included declaring war, conducting foreign affairs, as well as making treaties with other governments. The main advantage of the Articles of Confederation was that it aided to maintain the independence and sovereignty of each state.
The Articles of the Confederation was the first government constitution that the United States used, and, although there were strength like the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, there were major weaknesses of the Articles of the Confederation like the following: requiring 9 out of the 13 colonial votes from the representatives from different states to pass a law; having no executive and judicial branch; and the federal government being unable to impose tax revenue onto the states. Such flaws would eventually lead to the Constitution and the repeal of the articles, for the Constitution was a measure to fix the problems of the articles with a stronger government that allowed them to impose taxes and and implement new laws for a more effective government.
Between July 1775 and November 1777, there was the drafting of the Articles of Confederation which followed a slow state ratification process, delaying ratification of the Articles of Confederation until the 1st March of 1781. Congress later on convened and held conferences until the 4th day of March in 1789 after which the Federal government took over within the confines of the constitution. Understanding that the Articles of Confederation did not stay in place for too long, we cannot overlook their contribution in terms of paving way for a longer lasting Constitution. These articles of Confederation had their similarities to the Constitution as well as differences; most of these differences thus constitute the Articles’ weaknesses as shall be discussed below. The Articles of Confederation came to relate so much to the Constitution and would later be adopted.
The Constitution of United States of America was ratified in 1787. Prior to the Constitution the Articles of Confederation had been the law of the land since the Revolutionary War. They proved weak and inefficient and a new governing document was needed. The drafters of the Constitution studied past texts of philosophy and government in order to create their ideal government. Although, the creators of the Constitution were influenced by many previous documents the most influential documents were the Articles of Confederation, the English Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta.
In one hand, the Articles of Confederation had a weak central government, differing form the strong central government in the Constitution. The Constitution’s government had a structure of three different branches; the legislative, executive, and judicial branch; unlike the Articles of Confederation that had no structure whatsoever. The Articles of Confederation had many problems like, the poor international trade, poor foreign relations and a weak economy in contrast to the Constitution that only had one problem, the struggle over the ratification. the Articles of Confederation achieved the Northwest Ordinance and the Northwest Territory and according to a history website, the Constitution achieved that we had a system of checks and balances, that we had a bill of rights, and, eventually, the survival of a bloody civil war intact. Lastly, the Constitution had three compromises: the Great Compromise, the Three-Fifths Compromise and the Slave Trade compromise.
The Articles of Confederation established a poor government. Many problems caused the government to be weak. One major problem with the Articles of Confederation was that the government had no power to collect taxes. This effect the government, because the government couldn't get money to pay the debts the US had or even for the army. This document had just formed a weak, poor government that had no power.
This lead to the writing of the constitution. The first weakness of the Articles of the confederation is that the federal government had very little power over the state government. This was true when it came to the federal government requesting med for war efforts, resources but was epically true when it came to the financial side. Although the federal government could request these things form the states they could not force them to do so. (U.S. History Pre-Columbian to the new Millennium, n.d.) This lead to the Federal government printing currency, which then led to inflation.
Furthermore, we must understand here that the Confederation was created with 13 colonies coming together and forming central government. But it was believed that all of the 13 colonies would get equal representation in the Congress and all these states were also seeking self-government so they could at least take decisions regarding their internal matters. Regardless, both of these things became impossible. While the states were granted some rights, it was declared in the Constitution that the central government would be allowed to interfere in all important matters and its authority would not be questioned. Such articles in the constitution naturally gave immense powers to the central government, which created a rift between the states and the government.