“From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government.” This statement is quite bold considering that the Articles lasted only eight years. In some ways this form of government was effective and in some ways it was not. It did 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. On the other hand, it was ineffective because 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 war years. They could also be called ineffective because of their limited scope and the inability of Congress to enforce any of the decisions that it made.
The Articles of Confederation can be called effective because they provided the colonies with some form of government, which is all they needed at the time. They needed a set of rules for operations of the government, which is what the Articles gave them. The Articles may not have helped the colonies relations with Britain, which is shown in Document B; the number of exports to Britain drops off, but that does not mean that the colonists were not trading with other countries. Trade was no longer restricted by Britain which could mean that the colonies started trading with China and other foreign nations. This shows that the Articles did have some successes. Document E seems to show some disputes, but as we know these disputes were settled peacefully and that a plan for territories to achieve statehood was put into effect. This document also depicts one of the greater achievements under the Articles, which was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Another example of the Articles of Confederation being effective is when Shays’ Rebellion broke; Shays did not succeed and was stopped by local and state actions. This rebellion goes along with Document G, though,...
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