compare and contrast the articles of confederation and the constitution essay

Topics: United States Constitution, United States, Articles of Confederation Pages: 6 (1925 words) Published: October 5, 2014
Abstract

The simple difference between the Articles of Confederation and US Constitution is that the articles were not strong enough to hold our young nation together. The articles operated the US as separate states. Under the articles, it was very difficult to pass laws since the requirement of 9 out of the 13 states' approval was needed for ratification. The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments. The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The members of the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Constitutional Convention convened in response to dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation and the need for a strong centralized government. After four months of secret debate and many compromises, the proposed Constitution was submitted to the states for approval. Although the vote was close in some states, the Constitution was eventually ratified and the new Federal government came into existence in 1789.

Articles of Confederation and Constitution

There were many differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. At the end of the American Revolution the free states needed some sort of control that would generate to a unified country. Issues arose such as: How should power be divided between local and national governments? How should laws be made, and by whom? Who should be authorized to govern those laws? How could the government be designed to protect the unalienable individual rights? Their first attempt at solving this issue was the Articles of Confederation, which was a failure for the most part, but not completely. After the failure of the articles, the state delegates tried to revise the articles, but instead, constructed the Constitution. There were so many changes made and very little remained the same.

The Articles of Confederation were approved by Congress on November 15, 1777 and ratified by the states on March 1, 1781. It was a modest attempt by a new country to unite itself and form a national government. The Articles set up a Confederation that gave most of the power to the states. Many problems arose and so a new Constitution was written in 1787 in Independence Hall. The new Constitution called for a much more unified government with a lot more power.

One of the key differences between the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation is in the way that they set up the Legislature. The thirteen states formed a Confederation referred to as the "league of friendship" in order to find a solution for common problems such as foreign affairs. The Articles of Confederation was the nation's first Constitution. The articles created a loose Confederation of independent states that gave limited powers to the central government.

Under the Articles each state could send between 2 and 7 delegates to Congress. In the Constitution each state was allowed 2 members in the Senate and 1 representative per 30,000 people (this number has now increased greatly) in the House of Representatives. The states with bigger populations wanted representation to be based solely off of population. The states with smaller populations wanted there to be a fixed number of representatives per state, each state would have one vote in the house of Congress, no matter the size of the population.

Under the articles, there wasn't a strong independent executive, it established as a unicameral legislature, which it refers to as a Congress. The Constitution on the other hand establishes a bicameral legislature with an upper house, the Senate, and a lower house, the House of Representatives. In the articles, There wasn't any judicial branch but Congress had the authority to arbitrate disputes between states. Congress was responsible for...

References: "Comparing the Articles and the Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net." _Comparing the Articles and the Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net_. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.
Feldmeth, Greg D. "Articles of Confederation vs. the Constitution." _Articles of Confederation vs. the Constitution_. 31 Mar. 1998. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
"Journals of the Continental Congress --THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, WITH AMENDMENTS :: :: :: APRIL--OCTOBER, 1777." _Journals of the Continental Congress --THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, WITH AMENDMENTS :: :: :: APRIL--OCTOBER, 1777_. Web. 20 Sept. 2014.
"S. Doc. 108-17 - Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis, and Interpretation - 2002 Edition." _S. Doc. 108-17 - Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis, and Interpretation - 2002 Edition_. 28 Jan. 2002. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
"Welcome to OurDocuments.gov." _Welcome to OurDocuments.gov_. National Archives Education Staff. The Constitution: Evolution of a Government. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2001. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.
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