Articles of Confederation Apush Dbq

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DBQ: Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation are considered to have created a highly controversial period in American history. Ironically, these articles also provided a steady form of government for many years after the revolutionary war. For many economic, political, and social reasons the Articles of Confederation were an ineffective form of government for the United States.

Economically, the United States was struggling to stay above water. After the war inflation was at about 300%, an all time high for the newly developing country. The two major flaws in the Articles, economically, were the fact that congress did not have the power to regulate commerce, and states were not required to pay federal taxes. The latter seemed to hurt the government most. United States exports in the three years leading up to the war were equivalent to the net exports of the 4 years after the war, which were the first years of the Articles (Document B). With this being said, The Northwest ordinance of 1787 was one of the most fiscally sound choices made by this experimental government. It called for selling of the old northwest lands to private citizens, as to pay off the 35 million dollars collectively owed to France and Holland. Most European countries were also greatly against the United States’ revolution, so to put down revolutionary fervor in their own countries, strong economic barriers were put up against the US. Britain declined all commercial treaties with their newly independent colonies. Spain was also openly un-friendly. In 1784 Spain closed the Mississippi river to United States commerce. The French were no strangers to these crude tactics either, they demanded revolutionary war loans be repaid, and restricted US trade in the French West Indies to ensure their demands were met. These crushing economic blows were felt just as badly at home. In 1786 a group of impoverished Massachusetts farmers rose up against the banks, under...
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