From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation failed to provide the United States with an effective government. It acted as though a loose confederation, or “firm league of friendship.” The Articles of Confederation created a weak central government that linked the thirteen states in common problems such as foreign affairs, and a judicial arm. Although, there was no executive branch, which meant no leader to enforce laws. Also, the Congress was weak (it was designed that way), and therefore the government could merely advocate and appeal. The United States faced two main problems: the lack of the central government’s power, and its inability to collect and/or create revenue.
Each state was in fact not very coherent with the central government. Nor were the states coherent with each other. The states possessed more control than the central government, as the Articles of Confederation forbade the government to command, coerce, or control. It could not act directly upon the individual citizens of sovereign states. Also, the government could only recommend laws, taxes, and other pieces of legislation to a state. Most often, when the government advocated for a law to be passed in a certain state, the state would reject the recommendation, like Rhode Island had done in 1782 (Doc. A). Moreover, the central government had no power to regulate commerce. This is due to how reluctant the states were to hand over control of taxation and commerce, after they had just won it from Great Britain. Without a central power to control these two aspects of the economy, the states were free to establish different, and often conflicting laws regarding tariffs and navigation. This led states to become only farther apart from each other, rather than more unified. Additionally, despite the weak, unsuccessful government, to make any change to the Articles of Confederation required unanimous ratification. Unanimity was near impossible, meaning that the Articles could never be amended....
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