Articles of Confederation

Topics: Articles of Confederation, Northwest Ordinance, United States Pages: 3 (874 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Articles of Confederation Essay
When the Revolutionary War was over and the Americans had won their independence, the revolutionists and republicans leading the new country were quite convinced that their government should differ from that of Britain and have a limited amount of power. Clearly, these men took these ideals more seriously than they should have. They created a constitution for the 13 states known as the Articles of Confederation, which put the majority of power in the hands of these individual states. They were adopted in 1777 after the war and enacted in 1781. The Articles of Confederation were quite a success pertaining to western lands, but proved unbeneficial for the economy of our new country.

Once the war was over, many Americans hoped to expand in the west, and they could successfully do so under the Articles of Confederation through the Northwest Ordinances and the Treaty of Paris, which tripled the size of the new country. For example, the Ordinance of 1784 divided the Western territory into self-governing districts that could each make a constitution and petition Congress for statehood after certain requirements were completed. The Ordinance of 1785 that followed created a system that allowed the land to be surveyed and sold to the public. The greatest accomplishment pertaining to western lands and the Articles of Confederation was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, as it created one Northwest Territory and solved the problem caused by the ordinance of 1785, land speculation. This ordinance also brought stability and organization to the process of western settlement and built the framework for settlement in the Northwest Territory. These enactments also proved beneficial to the ideal citizen of the time, the yeomen farmer. In the area of western lands and settlement, the Articles of Confederation were quite successful.

When politicians gathered to create the Articles, it is quite evident how afraid both they and the American people...
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