articles of confederation

Topics: Articles of Confederation, Northwest Ordinance, Land Ordinance of 1785 Pages: 2 (450 words) Published: January 23, 2014
Though the Articles of Confederation eventually failed, it lay the valuable groundwork for today's government. It failed to manage foreign relations, proving completely ineffective in that area. The Articles did, however, succeed in dealing with the establishment, division, and development of Western lands.

The Articles of Confederation was useless in the area of foreign relations. Under the Articles, most power belonged to the states, and many states carried out their own relations with foreign countries. The federal government had no power to regulate or make laws regarding commerce, which undermined the economic relations with other countries. The federal government could not produce or regulate currency, which hurt commerce with other nations, and even between the states themselves. The government under the Articles of Confederation did not have the power to tax, and therefore could not finance any sort of national defense. The US was unable to defend itself. For instance, the United States still had border disputes as well as disputes about British soldiers on US soil that it could do nothing about. The failure of the Articles of Confederation to manage foreign relations illustrated the disadvantages of a weak central government.

With regard to Western lands, the Articles of Confederation succeeded in controlling a situation that could have otherwise created major conflict. All colonies with land in the west ceded their claims on their land, a compromise between states with claims and those without. The Articles of Confederation, through the Northwest Ordinance, established a method by which colonists could settle the land and join the union. There was to be no slavery in these territories. There were zones in each section of land, through the Land Ordinance of 1785, and zones were reserved for specific things like schools. After about 60,000 people had moved into this new area, they could apply to join the colonies under the jurisdiction of the...
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