The Articles of Confederation

Strengths and Weaknesses

What are the Articles of Confederation?

The Articles of Confederation was the first government of the 13 British Colonies. It was created and adopted in 1781 and later replaced by the US Constitution in 1789. It was a written documentation that explained the functions of the government after the colonies declared themselves independent from Great Britain.

Why didn't the Articles work out?

The Articles of Confederation had many weaknesses that allowed the colonies to fall into dispute. Things still weren't right and they wanted to fix it, but the Articles would have to go.

Strengths of the Articles of Confederation

  • The states were able to keep popular sovereignty
  • Congress was able to make treaties and trades with foreign countries
  • Congress had the authority to declare war
  • Postal services were created
  • Supported a national government
  • Encouraged cooperation between different states

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

  • No real central government
  • The national government had no real power to tax
  • No way to enforce laws
  • No national courts
  • Each state had its own paper money
  • No judicial or executive branch of government
  • Only one vote per state, regardless of size
  • Needed 9 out of 13 vote from the states to pass a law
  • Needed all 13 states to vote for amending a law
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Why did the colonists create such a weak central government?

The colonists were tired of someone -like a king- ruling over them and controlling every aspect of their lives and communities. They didn't want the government to have complete control over them so they made sure that they'd have the freedom to do what they want. However, having a weak government didn't work out either. They realized that they needed to find a midpoint in which all their needs and the country's needs would be met.

Crystal Garcia Jaimes