After many long and hard years of constant fighting, turmoil, and endless bloodshed, the thirteen colonies finally separated itself from England. The country of America now had a new problem at hand, setting up an effective government that would be much better than the oppressive rule of the British. The first step, of course, is setting up a constitution. The Articles of Confederation, ratified in 1781, was the first constitution of America. The Articles of Confederation was strong in that it gave the central government the powers to conduct foreign affairs, regulate western lands, and set up departments. This constitution was weak in that the central government was unable to impose taxes, control international trade, or enforce laws, and it was difficult to pass any law. Even though the Articles of Confederation had its strengths and weaknesses, its weaknesses outweighed its strengths rendering the document useless in governing the new country.
The Articles of Confederation kept the central government weak due to the colonists’ fear of a tyrannical central government. Congress did not have the power to regulate international of interstate trade. This was a significant weakness. International trade is a crucial part to any country’s economy as it is a way to earn money. Congress’s inability to regulate international trade impedes it to raise money, crippling the whole country. Levying taxes was another power deprived from Congress. Not having the ability to tax its citizens is a major disadvantage to any government. Taxing is a form of raising money for several services. These weaknesses economically hampered the country. Also, Congress could not enforce any laws. It could only suggest and appeal laws. By not being able to enforce laws, there is no central authority whatsoever. Therefore, it’s almost as if each state was an independent country. This was evident during Shay’s Rebellion. This was a rebellion of poor people in Massachusetts. The central...
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