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Comparison and Contrast of the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution

By | August 2011
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A Comparison and Contrast of the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution

To understand what the benefits and drawbacks  were, it is important to compare and contrast the positions in which the documents differ. I believe that they are thus:

1. Taxation - The articles allow the congress to levy taxes on each state which means that the taxation burden has to be readjusted within each state among its populace and taxation is not equal 'Federally' whereas in the constitution, the Congress levies taxation individually according to the position of each taxpaying individual making it equal across the board.

2. Justice - there is no central justice system via the articles, there is no system of Federal Courts, each state handles its own courts and justice system and it causes problems with fugitives and inter-state criminal/civic legal issues especially as interstate extradition involved too much red tape hampering justice. This is not the case with the Constitution as it creates a Federal Court System.

3. Trade - The Congress regulates interstate trade whereas with the Articles, there is no existing provision for interstate trade regulation.

4. Amendments - a unanimous 13/13 vote between all states must be imposed in the Articles while in the constitution, the rule of the majority or 2/3 of the Congress allows for amendment.

5. Representation - each state in the Articles received 1 vote, 1 voice in the Congress but with the Constitution, representation in the lower house is according to the population of the state (dependent on district divisions) and each state gets 2 Senators.

6. Military - the Congress cannot draft military manpower in the Articles - it is up to each State to 'send' troops whereas the Constitution allows for Federal Drafting creating a truly national Armed Forces.

7. Interstate Disputes - The Articles had a complicated interstate dispute system, literally, each state can declare 'war' on each other whereas the...

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