Dbq: Effectiveness of Articles of Confederation

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Effectiveness of Articles of Confederation
While the Articles of Confederation unified the American colonies for the first time, the individual states had a hard time allowing a central government to solely control their territory. Due to fear of an all powerful monarchy like the one they had experienced in England the colonies were wary of allowing a central government certain powers. These certain powers included control of commerce, ability to tax, and even the ability to act directly upon individual citizens of a state. While the Articles provided a loose confederation to unify the new country, they were only a temporary solution due to their obvious weaknesses in several areas. The Articles of Confederation were essentially ineffective in their ruling over the newly formed 13 states.

One of the most crippling factors that lead to the ineffectiveness of the Articles was their denial from the right to tax. With major debts from the war piling up a system of taxation seems now to have been a necessity. However, the states had just won their freedom from Britain who had taxed them mercilessly. They were in no way ready to accept a taxation plan of any sort. Rhode Island felt a commerce tax would be unfair in that it would affect the commercial states more than the others. (Doc. A) Discontent among the colonies was obvious from the start of the Articles. Virginia also complained to Congress. They stated that the men who had fought for America had not yet been properly compensated. (Doc. C) The Virginia government admitted that Congress was short in the means with which to obtain these funds; however he did not offer taxation as a solution to solve this problem. Congress was constantly pressured with certain demands yet the states would not allow them the means to achieve these demands. Overall, the denial of the right to tax freely hindered the effectiveness of the Articles greatly.

Congress was also prohibited from controlling laws of commerce. Rhode...
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