Articles of Confederation

Advantages and Disadvantages

The Advantages

When the Articles of Confederation were drawn up by the Second Continental Congress, it included a unified army for the states, and was able to build and control one. In this way, America had some form of defense. It had the ability to deal with foreign countries on behalf of the states. A legislature was set up in which every state had one vote. This was a shaky establishment but was a start nonetheless.

The Disadvantages

Despite having the ability to creat laws, they had no executive or judicial branch, leaving no way to enforce the laws. Nine out of thirteen states were needed to pass a law, and all of them were needed to amend one. They were also unable to tax. With this, the states suffered economically when the states started taxing each other heavily, harming trade. As a result of this, riots broke out against the taxes, one of the most famous being Shay's Rebellion. Daniel Shay, deeply in debt because of heavy txes, led 1,200 Massachusetts farmers onto a federal arsenal. The state was going to take away their land, and they felt this was unfair. While the rebellion was quickly squashed, it showed how weak the articles were.
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A Strong Central Government

One reason I feel they created a government with a weak central government was simply because they were vastly inexperienced in creating one. They had never thought to be in charge of a revolution, and definitely did not consider the possibility of a new country, free from England and to rule their own as their own. It was more or less a trial by error, and they certaintly learned from their errors.
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