The Articles of Confederation made up America’s first constitution. This constitution was hastily and poorly made and solved the problem of a lack of government in America. The Articles were designed to limit the government’s power over the citizens. The Articles of Confederation also did not include anything about an individual or a president to guide the country. This was because of the colonists’ past experience with Britain’s king and him having too much power over the people.
Shortly after Maryland, South Carolina and New Hampshire followed. New York and Virginia, two major states with a massive impact, were hesitant to ratify. These states were filled with Anti-Federalist, who feared strong central government, as well as the president becoming dictator or king. In order to persuade the Anti-Federalists, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay created the Federalists Papers. Then finally, enough states had ratified for the Constitution to go in effect, although Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island had not yet ratified.
Before Jefferson entered the presidential office he was a states rights supporter and when the tax on whiskey was placed he opposed it, saying “The first error was to admit it by the Constitution.” (Doc A). He didn’t like the constitution because of the fact that it would make central government stronger. When the alien act was passed he was opposed to it and said that the central government should only have a set of specific purposes and the leftover purposes should be left to the states individually. (Doc B) Determining the amount of time it takes to be a citizen, and the ability to jail people opposing the government was too much power to Jefferson. When he came into office he realized the necessity for more central power and took more matters into his own hands, he had become a loose constructionist.
Despite checks and balances, the Anti-Federalists considered that these branches composed of Elites, and were afraid that Elites would grant the too much power among the branches. In fact, the real power that that the middle class had for role in the Constitution was to elect the member of House of Representatives, which they had less power in the three branches. According to Brutus in Letter number IV of the Anti-federalist Papers, each state should have an equal, full, and fair representation, without this it cannot be a free government (Document F). This would lead the common man to no voices among these three branches. The purpose of the creating the Constitution was to create a strong federal government that would
The United States struggled under the Articles of Confederation, able to declare war and foreign policy, but unable to collect revenue to sustain its actions. The Constitution was designed to give more power to the national government primarily by empowering it with the responsibilities of establishing and maintaining central banking and financial policies. The national government was able to ask for monies from the states, but was not able to enforce collections of those monies needed to sustain their actions. The thirteen states essentially had recently revolted against Britain and its heavy handed tactics of collecting revenue and were almost immediately being asked to ratify and accept changes that would allow the new government to enforce funding as well. Since most of the framers of the Constitution were considered prominent and financially secure, this left the farmers and trades persons of lower class and wealth with the impression of returning back to a heavy handed government
You were either a Federal or a Anti-Federal (against or with the Constitution). Both sides had their own reasons to believe to accept or decline the offer. Anti-Federalist believed that some poor would never get into government, there was no liberty in press, the government had too much power, and most of the rights they fought for in the war isn’t present in the constitution (life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness). The Federals said that the Constitution was a new protecting, efficient federal government for the many current problems, the complaints of the farmers, the
The primary economic reason the Articles of Confederation failed was no power to tax by the central government. The founders of the Articles of Confederation were so fearful of making another tyrannical government that they doomed themselves from the start; first by making the central government extremely weak and further did not allow that same governing body to tax for funding its on existence. “There was no president and no national court, and the powers of the national legislature were strictly limited. Most authority rested with the state legislatures because many leaders feared that a strong central government would become as tyrannical as British rule (Edwards, pg.37)”. Further, the legislature was one chamber with vote per state, amendments
Contrary to popular belief, the United States has two constitutions: the Articles of Confederation and the present day constitution. So, what happened to the Articles of Confederation? The Articles of Confederation failed for many reasons: the reluctancy of the individual states to surrender their powers to a national government, the impotence of Congress to tax the colonies in order to pay off war debts or pay veterans of the American Revolution, the inability to back up the currency coined by Congress, the institution of multiple currency as states began to coin their own money, and the lack of power to regulate trade and commerce among the states or foreign nations. In addition, the Articles of Confederation limited the executive and judicial
The Articles of Confederation created a confederation in the United States. A confederation is a government in which the state government, not national, has dominant power. The leaders of the new nation feared that a strong, centralized government would lead to tyrannical monarchy like the British government. So the Founding Fathers established a confederation where there was no president nor Supreme court, and a Congress with limited power. But the existence of a weak congress led to an ineffective national government.
The Articles of Confederation were written during a time when the American people feared a strong national government. Since the United States was relatively a new nation, it needed some form of organization to hold the states together and keep its government and society stable to build a stronger economy (Knoedl, 2003). The first and foremost inherited weakness of the Articles came from the fact that it replaced sovereign power in the hands of the states. This started after the American Revolution, when the American people feared that the colonists would form a new government that could function similarly to King George III’s monarchy after having dealt with the British Crown for years. Since then these states would start creating their own set of rules and laws and because of some states, creating their own constitutions and each state can rule itself, it gave more power to them than the actual Federal Government.