Dbq - Articles of Confederation vs. the Constitution

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Shortly after the American Revolution was over, the United States of America was conceptualized, and from there emerged two possible forms of ruling. The government in the colonies set out to create the Articles of Confederation to prevent tyranny and be as traditional as possible. The Articles of Confederation gave the US government very little power over basic things such as taxation and raising an army. The Constitution was able to create a strong central government that united the country, and it is seen as a stepping stone to the eventual US Constitution since it wasn’t perfect.

The Articles of Confederation supported a system in which the states would possess more power than the federal government itself. In document A, a letter from Rhode Island Assembly to Congress presents us with evidence of a state’s power over Congress. Since there were thirteen separate constitutions for each of the thirteen states, it was difficult for Congress to pass a measure that was not outside of the limits of someone’s constitution. In document C, a letter from Delegate Joseph Jones of Virginia to George Washington explains why the states were given more power. Each individual state controlled taxation - not the federal government.

Compared to the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation lacked strength regarding state and federal relations. Document G talked about John Jay in a letter to Washington that pointed out the inefficiency and instability the Articles would bring about. The system would only lead to our demise because it was capable of sparking rebellion against tariffs and debt. In document B, the United States exports in the three years leading up to the end of the war, which were the first years of the Articles. Most European countries were against the United States’ resolution, resulting in economic barriers. Spain and France also snubbed the United States during their revolutionary period, impinging a fatal blow on the economy.

At this point, it was...
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