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Problems of Decentralization What were the problems of decentrali...

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Problems of Decentralization What were the problems of decentralized power that existed under the Articles of Confederation?

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  • October 15, 2008
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After the American Revolution was won and the Treaty of Paris formally recognized the United States of America as a country, there was still much to do . Major parts of the country were in shambles, and there was a strong need for a central government. At the time, many states drafted their own state governments, but soon realized that a national government was needed, so delegates went to the Second Continental Congress to draft the Articles of Confederation. Though it provided a legislative branch of government with one house that had the power to declare war, had the power to make treaties, and could also borrow money to pay debts, it was nothing more than a declaration of friendship between the colonies . The weaknesses of the Articles were apparent after the government showed helplessness after Shays Rebellion. The governor of Massachusetts asked Congress to send troops, but they didnt have the money or the men to send aid . It also exposed the fact that the Articles of Confederation also failed to see that the states would adequately protect the rights and liberties of all their citizens .

In the process of writing the Articles of Confederation so that it would not resemble a parliamentary government like Great Britains, the authors unintentionally created many problems pertaining to centralized power. The states kept their sovereignty which made it seem like there were thirteen separate countries rather than thirteen states unified together to create a country. There was no executive branch which translated into no follow through on decisions and there was a lack of leadership of the armed forces. No standing army meant that there was constant internal strife and state conflict, as well as making the threat of external invasion very real. There was also no trade regulation, which resulted in numerous trade disputes and also resulted in states taxing one another. State conflict was not only limited to trade disputes; laws in one state werent always...