At Philadelphia in 1778, John Dickinson drafted the first constitution for the United States as a nation. The Articles of Confederation was adopted by Congress in 1777 and submitted to the states for ratification. When Virginia and New York agreed to give up their claims to western lands, the Articles of Confederation were finally ratified in March 1781. The Articles established a central government that consisted of just one body, a congress. In this unicameral nation, the power given to states had greater power than the Federal power. Under the Articles of Confederation America was a weak nation without unity, which caused many problems to arise.
Under the Articles of Confederation the federal government did not have the power to regulate commerce. As a result the government did not receive any money, the states were not taxed. The congress had power to tax the states and could only request that the states donate money for the Nation’s needs. Moreover, none of the states paid any money to congress. According to Document A, where the Rhode Island Assembly pleads to congress to not tax the imports of the states products, it shows Congress’s inabilities to tax the states. In addition to congress’s inability to tax the states, it also lacked the power to regular currency. All of the states were printing their own paper money. This often led to difficulties in trade for merchants, as there were no currency exchanges. As a result, trade between Great Britain declined, while the population continued to increase according to Document B. Furthermore, oftentimes a state printed more money when the economy was in trouble which led to inflation. Congress’s inability to regulate commerce under the Articles of Confederation led to a very unstable economy in the United States during 1981-1789.
Congress’s inability to establish a national commercial policy, because of the Articles of Confederation, exposed the government’s weaknesses. Immediately after the war, Great...
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