The Articles Of Confederation

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In many ways the Constitution was largely a Federalist victory where few but important compromises were made in favor of the Anti-Federalists. When the Articles of Confederation were originally drafted the framers intended to create a government that was the polar opposite of what they had experienced under the authoritarian centralized British rule. With freedom and civil liberties as their main concerns the Articles of Confederation gave ultimate power to the States, with the idea that the 13 states be united under a weak central government that could recommend policies, but without the authority to enforce these policies if the states refused (Shea, Green, Smith 51). “On paper, at least, this Congress had power to conduct foreign affairs,…show more content…
First, the Articles did not allow for the national government to collect taxes from the states or from the citizens, this starved the national government of vital funds it required to survive and function, the Articles provided no way for the national government to regulate commerce amongst the States. Because the states were so fragmented under the Articles, the already anemic central government could not speak to other nations with a cohesive voice, and any amendments to the Articles required the unanimous approval of all 13 states which solidified that no changes would ever be ratified; thus creating a fixed and never improving government. In addition, another downfall of the Articles was its lack of leadership and accountability within the national government, which was made obvious during Shay’s Rebellion in 1786 (Shea, Green, Smith 52). During the 1780s, due to the influx of imports, the United States experienced an economic depression. Farmers were hit the hardest because of the drastic drop in the value of their crops compared to previous years. In need of help, the farmers sought aid from the government, which seemed to be ignored, eventually leading to intense frustration and erupting in violence. A group of farmers in Massachusetts lead by Daniel Shays, growing to nearly 2,500, rallied to demand change, but ultimately ended with the violent clash between the group and the state militia (Shea, Green, Smith 52). Shay’s Rebellion highlighted the gaping flaws of the Articles and in the months following, lead to a meeting to revise the Articles, known as the Constitutional Convention. “In late May 1787, some 55 delegates from every state except Rhode Island came together at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia for the purpose of proposing changes to the Articles of Confederation. Congress … did not expect that the Articles
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