The Articles of Confederation

Signed in 1781

Out with the Old, In with the New

New Structures:

  • 1 House Legislator
  • 1 vote per State
  • 9 of the 13 required to pass laws
  • Controls the military
  • Power to make treaties

State Government

  • Every State wrote it's own Constitution
  • All had 3 Branches - Legislative, Executive, Judicial
  • Guaranteed certain rights

National Government

  • Limited control given to the government
  • Would not be able to control the 13 states


Problems Created:

  • Could not enforce laws
  • Could not tax
  • No executive branch
  • No court system
  • Could not regulate trade

What happened?

  1. Taxation problems
  2. Trade barriers
  3. Inability to pass laws
  4. Lack of strong executive
  5. Shay's Rebellion - event that occurred when Massachusetts farmers revolted over high state taxes and caused people to realize the weaknesses of the government.


This convinced us that we needed a strong central government and made our Founding Fathers consider rethinking/rewriting the structure of the U.S. government