Articles of Confederation Dbq

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The United States' form of government from 1781-1789, was based on the Articles Of Confederation. The document itself did provide the early establishment with a form of national government, a legislative branch, and expansion of land to the west, but still had more weaknesses than it did strengths. The articles were weak and would not be able to provide the growing nation with an effective government. One of the main reasons being (for the weaknesses), was the States' fear of a strong executive branch, in other words, the monarchial government they fought to be free from during the Revolution. The articles failed to efficiently regulate trade, levy taxes, and predominantly enforce the laws written. As time progressed, rather than revising the articles, a better Constitution was needed to replace this ineffective government.

When the States were finally free from Parliament, they avoided anything that resembled Britain's strong central government. Congress gave more freedom to states, and only limited power to itself. Congress could not do things such as levy taxes, taxes were merely voluntary within states. "Document A", the letter written by the Rhode Island Assembly, explained to congress that taxes were "against the constitution" of it's own state. This excessive amount of freedom even conflicted with Congress' goal to pay it's own national debt.

The articles were also ineffective in regulating trade in states as well as the country itself. "Document B" best shows how the articles economically failed in helping the United States. The chart shows the rise in the United States population and the unchanged export of goods to Great Britain. The Articles Of Confederation failed to keep up trade with Great Britain, the country where it's main exports were to go. The United States were also unable to regulate trade with other foreign nations, this would have allowed the economy to grow and prosper.

Failure of the articles in providing an effective...
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