Share
Explore BrainMass

Elements & Problems of the Articles of Confederation

In at least 200 words, what are the major elements of the Articles of Confederation? What problems arose in ratifying the Articles?

Solution Preview

About the Articles of Confederation

?After winning the Revolutionary war, America had no real government, no sound financial system, and no true foreign allies.
?Fortunately, it did have a group of extraordinary individuals who were willing to find a form of government that would protect the new country with a system that has since become a true wonder of the world.
?The United States Congress came up with the Articles of Confederation which was drafted in 1777 but not ratified by all states until 1781 (Velm, 2008). Each state had one vote in Congress, and it took 9 of the 13 states to ratify a decision.
?Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress had no power to tax or to establish a federal judicial system, and it lacked any real power to make the individual states pay attention to its legal authority to make postal, coin, or war and peace decisions.
?Due to the restrictions of the Articles of Confederation, the central Congress was vulnerable in efforts to negotiate commercial treaties. Since the United States was no longer part of the complex British mercantile system, trade of rice tobacco and indigo were lost.
?The war had also created massive national debt with millions owed to the French and Dutch governments. Individual states maintained heavy debt loads while individuals that had invested in war bonds worried that they would never receive their investments back.
?They were also not capable to deal with the existence of British, Spanish, and Native Americans on the border. In more than a few instances, British soldiers still maintained troops within territorial boundaries, regularly sustaining Native Americans that hassled border settlements.
?The newly independent states developed their own currencies, discarded by European merchants who preferred of gold and silver, consequently depriving America of the monetary strength built upon hard money.
?Trade rivalries between states existed that caused instability. New York, which had an entry port for imports, assessed levy duties on goods entering New Jersey or Connecticut. Britain closed the West Indies to United States trade which made the situation worse (Wiegand, 2009).
?New England suffered tremendously. The fisheries industry was a ...

Solution Summary

The solution lists the main elements of the Articles of Confederation and the problems it contained that led to the eventual making of the US Constitution.

$2.19