The implementation of the Articles of Confederation, ratified in 1781, provided the first form of government for the United States while the nation was in its infancy. Often referred to as the “Articles of Confusion”, the document created a central government that lacked sufficient power to govern the nation successfully. The Second Continental Congress and head writer John Dickinson purposely provided weak governmental power because the nation feared repeating the oppression they experienced under King George III and British Parliament prior to the Revolution. However, this absence of a strong centralized government was the reason the document proved largely ineffective. In relation to military, the main issue was the inability of Congress to raise a federal army. Economically, Congress was unable to force taxes on the individual states. Politically, government was composed of a Legislative branch only and lacked power in numerous ways. Based on the weaknesses of the document in these areas, it is apparent that the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an ineffective government.
The military powers provided to the federal government under the Articles were severely lacking. Congress was prohibited to raise a federal army and for this reason the individual states developed their own armies. The fact that the nation lacked a standing army left it extremely vulnerable to attacks by foreign powers, and at the time both Great Britain and Spain posed possible threats to the new nation. Members of state armies were dissatisfied because Congress lacked the power to fulfill demands for bonuses and back pay (Document C). Although the federal government did possess the power to declare war and make treaties, its powers as defined under the ninth article did not extend very far beyond that. The United States also lacked the physical power to enforce the territorial claims agreed upon under the Treaty of Paris of 1783; in 1785 British troops continued...
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