Constitution, AoC, Government. By Ian Duffy

Essential Knowledge

American political leaders, fearful of a

powerful central government like

Britain’s, created the Articles of

Confederation, adopted at the end of the


The Articles of Confederation

• Provided for a weak national


• Gave Congress no power to tax or

regulate commerce among the states

• Provided for no common currency

• Gave each state one vote regardless

of size

• Provided for no executive or judicial


Questions to know.

How did America’s pre-Revolutionary

relationship with Britain influence the

structure of the first national government?

What weaknesses in the Articles of

Confederation led to the effort to draft a

new constitution?

1) Under the Articles there was only a unicameral legislature so that there was no separation of powers.
2) Congress, under the Articles, did not have the power to tax which meant that they could never put their finances in order.
3) In order to change or amend the Articles, unanimous approval of the states was required which essentially meant that changes to the Articles were impossible.
4) For any major laws to pass they had to be approved by 9 or the 13 states which proved difficult to do so that even the normal business of running a government was difficult.
5) Under the Articles, Congress did not have the power to regulate commerce which will cause competition between states as well as diplomatic issues.