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Effectiveness of the Articles

Oct 08, 1999 404 Words

The Articles of Confederation were incapable of providing the United States with an effective form of government. The Articles of Confederation presided weakly over the government as it allowed little or no power to tax, control trade, and branches of government were missing. In addition to this, the thirteen states acted as separate nations and the national government had little control over them. As seen in Document C, Congress had so little money that it couldn't afford to pay the army their bonuses. The army, of course, was discontented in this lack of action and thought they were being treated unjustly. The delay was so slow that the army did not think they were going to get paid. This, in itself, exhibits the great need for the national government to acquire the power to tax. Document D openly shows the little power that the national government is in control of. In the document, the U.S. attempted to remove British troops off of U.S. soil and had quite a time trying to do so. The British had no respect for the U.S. government because of the little power it had, all of the power was in the hands of the states. The thirteen states acted like thirteen separate nations as they, for the most part, functioned as they pleased. Document G reveals the discontent of the people in the ineffectiveness of their national government under the Articles of Confederation. John Jay (Secretary of Foreign Affairs and great international negotiator), expresses this discontent of the people through a letter of concern to George Washington. He foreshadowed some sort of revolt, crisis, or revolution and expressed his feeling of uneasiness and the need for change. Shay's rebellion turned out to be a milestone because it set a need for a new national government, the revolt was against the government of Massachusetts. The Articles of Confederation had both high and low points, but, the low greatly outweighed the high. Ideas, thoughts, and events were becoming so hot with tension that everyone could plainly see that some sort of change needed to take place. Only the extent and degree of the change was in question, not whether one needed to take place. For some, this change involved only a slight revision to the Articles, to others, it involved the making of a whole new document, and government.

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