U.S History Honors I
Articles of Confederation Essay
From the years 1781 to 1789, the United States of America were governed under a document known as the Articles of Confederation. Prior to the ratification of today’s United States Constitution, this paper was the layout for the federal government that united the separate thirteen colonies in their movement for independence from Britain. It was put to the test as an effective form of command by a number of problems and events that arose shortly after America gained independence from its mother country. The signing of the Treaty of Paris granted the states new land and a new position in the world as a nation. Various ordinances came about in the mid 1780s to address westward expansion. A group of people known as Nationalists saw the need for a stronger central government, but the separate states and higher classes of American society resented this idea, for fear that their natural rights would be denied. Yeomen farmers were seen as the ideal citizens in the new republic nation that America was trying to forge, however they found themselves facing severe economic pressure. States were raising taxes, their paper money was becoming worthless, and Congress had yet to repay the common people for their service in the Continental Army. Tensions between these lower classed citizens and the gentry erupted in Shays’s Rebellion, which can be seen as the ultimate factor for inspiring change in the American government. Previously, the tedious amending process had made alterations much too difficult to create. In the time that the Articles of Confederation were active, they proved to be an effective form of government in handling western lands, but were substantially less ideal in managing America’s foreign relations.
The Articles of Confederation were most successful in dealing with westward expansion due to the effectiveness of the Ordinances that were drafted under it and the benefits it brought to...