The Articles of Confederation Provided the U.S an Effective Government

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Essay #4
Trevor Gaston
10/21/10
AP US History C-Block

“From 1781 to 1789, the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government;” a bold statement considering the fact that the Articles lasted only 8 years. Although, I suppose the case could be made that the Articles of Confederation provided the means for a temporary government, only acting as a first-time attempt for the colonies in creating a more perfect representation for the colonies as a whole. This is true in some ways and in some ways it’s not; for instance, just the fact that the Articles lacked the necessary provisions for a sufficiently effective government. There was no president or executive agencies or judiciary, nor was there a tax base or even a way to pay off state and national debts from the war years. However, there is also evidence that the Articles did, for a time, provide the newly formed American colonies with the means to govern themselves in the manner that they wished to be governed, and set the rules for operations of the United States government. Based on this, the Articles were largely ineffective because of their limited scope and the inability of Congress to enforce any of the decisions that it made.

What this statement is merely saying is that the Articles of Confederation provided us, as a newly formed nation, with a temporary government with which to govern ourselves, even though it only lasted for about 8 years. You see, after the Revolutionary War, the United States signed the Treaty of Paris which ended all hostilities with Great Britain. The treaty left the U.S. independent and at peace, but with an unsettled governmental structure. The Articles of Confederation were weak and did not give a strong political or economic base for the newly formed nation. Another way in which the Articles were weak was the fact that the colonies weren’t, in a sense, even united or even considered a nation as evidenced by the following excerpt:...
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