The Articles of Confederations’ Failure as an Effective Government
During the American Revolution the French needed some security before they would ally themselves with the Colonists, and thus the Articles of Confederation was created. Between 1781 and 1789 the United States used the Articles of Confederation as a guide to governing the country. With that came the questioning of whether or not the Articles of Confederation was an effective form of government. An effective form of government requires the ability to rule productively, have beneficial relationships with other countries, and do what is best for the people it governs. Although the Articles of Confederation gave states their sovereignty and had productive means of governing territory, overall it did not provide an effective form of government on account of the domestic issues and foreign policy problems.
Some historians argued that the Articles of Confederation’s good qualities—such as giving states their sovereignty and handling the territorial disputes over the old west capably—outweighed the negative effects the Articles of Confederation had, and deemed it an effective form of government. States were satisfied when the Articles of Confederation caused them that they were to turn over all western lands over to the federal government (document E). The federal government would then sell the land and pay off the debts it had. In trade for the land, the federal government would not have the rights to tax citizens because they could use the profits from the land as a source of revenue. Since the federal government was in possession of vast amounts of land, they came up with a plan to sell the land and a way to assimilate new states into the U.S. The plans became known as the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance; both of the plans proved beneficial to the United States. Many of the states were content with the Articles of Confederation and did not wish to ratify the...
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