17, October 2014
DBQ Articles of Confederation
The confederation period of American history, from 1781 to 1789, a very important time in the nation's development. Having rebelled against royal authority, the collection of American colonies, now become a collection of American states, had to form a new government. This government was the Articles of Confederation, a basic constitution, which was ratified by all the states in 1781 before the Revolutionary War ended. But from their conception in 1781 to their abandonment in 1789, the Articles were totally inadequate, providing the U.S. with an ineffective government. The greatest contribution the Articles made was to show the people that a strong central government was needed.
The Articles of Confederation were simple. The Articles provided for no judiciary or executive branch. Congress was a weak body, made up of delegates from the thirteen states, again reflecting the US's fear of monarchs as well as the independent heritage possessed by the separate colonies. Amendments could be made only by unanimous consent of all thirteen states and National laws required a two-thirds majority, also somewhat improbable. Thus, from 1781 to 1789 the U.S. possessed a very weak control government. In the report of Rawlin Lowndes speech to the South Carolina house of representatives, they are debating on the adoption of a federal constitution (Document 8). The report states that Mr.Lowndes called on the house to consider whether it would or would not be better to add strength to the old confederation or just adopting another.
The Articles were insufficient as a constitution. Since individual states held their own interest above that of the new nation, they sought to block much legislation that did not favor them directly. Only in one area did the Congress coax a unified policy from the states, the area of land reform. The major landholding states--Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and...
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