The Articles of Confederation were a primitive version of the current Constitution of the United States. Back in the 1700's, all 13 states approved them in a unanimous vote. The Articles of Confederation were vital to the New World’s survival, as it served as the only way to keep the states unified. However, that is about all the lesser Constitution would ever do. In their efforts to retain independence, the states created a weak central government that was unable to improve an insolvent economy and mend foreign relations. Nonetheless, the Articles of Confederation still aided in modeling the United States Constitution and helped stabilize the government.
Although the confederation as a whole gained several vital powers, the crucial powers of taxation and regulation of commerce remained with the individual states. Each state passed their own dissimilar currency, and therefore created inflation which made circulation worthless. The western lands were diced into small plots of land to be auctioned off to pay off the national debt. Compounded with restrictions on trade overseas and down the Mississippi River, the states became plagued with heavy depression. The Articles of Confederation were really "all bark and no bite".
Foreign affairs and such were also left up to the states themselves. Englanders joked that if they were to send one minister to America they would have to send thirteen. America was so unorganized that they hardly met and rarely added any articles to the Articles of Confederation because to do so took a unanimous vote. The individual states were too weak to defend themselves if there were to be a conflict and didn’t have enough money to bribe others. Therefore, they kissed up to their “parents” (Britain and France) as often as possible while still remaining independent. The Articles of Confederation did nothing in the way of foreign affairs except to make other nations think that the U.S. had become strong and were organized.
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