Articles of Confederation: Complete Failures

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Articles of Confederation

What is your idea of our nation’s first government? Because if it’s even close to successful, it’s wrong. The government under the Articles of Confederation is evidence of this. Saying it was the opposite of successful would be an understatement; something like “complete failures” would be much more accurate. The government under the Articles of Confederation failed due to its inability to get money from the 13 states, its trouble handling foreign affairs, and its lack of protection of the colonists’ rights.

The government under the Articles of Confederation failed to collect money from the 13 states. Because of the line “taxation without representation”, and the colonists’ memory of it, Congress didn’t have the power to raise more money by collecting taxes. To make the Congress’s and confederation’s financial problems worse, the states still had Revolutionary War debt of their own to pay off, so the states never gave the Congress the entire amount of money it needed. Since the Congress failed to pay off debts and collect money from the states, the Continentals decreased in value.

The Congress was extremely unsuccessful when it came to dealing with foreign affairs. It had tasks such as making war, arranging treaties, coining money, and supplying postal services—keeping up with all of this became very difficult. Congress was unable to enforce the treaties it made, such as the Treaty of Paris. A couple years after the Treaty of Paris was created, Great Britain broke it by refusing to leave its forts in the Americans’ Northwest territory. Because the American army was so weak, it was unable to regain from Britain the land that had legally belonged to the Americans, and overall, it was unable to prevent other countries from capitalizing on its absence of a strong army and struggles relating to foreign affairs.

Part of the reason why the Congress failed was because it didn’t protect the people’s rights. A...
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