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The Disadvantages of The Articles of Confederation

An essay on the disadvantages of the articles of confederation.

I think that the articles of confederation were a weak and ineffective form of government; they had no executive branch and little power to enforce laws on states, as well as tax them and regulate their trade. The articles where originally to tie the states together and to help run the revolutionary war, but those days where over and the articles no longer served Americas needs for a democratic government. They where written by a population widely proud of escaping the British Parliaments control and taxation, not wanting to go back; the articles designed a weak federal government on purpose. The articles were quickly proven ineffective at keeping order on this new nation as shays rebellion stirred up as well as other problems with taxes and war debt.

One of the main problems is there inability to control the states government. Congress had the ability to tax but states could deny congressional if they didn’t like it (A). This is a major disadvantage to the Articles of Confederation, the congress asked the states to fill there tax quota but could not enforce it and were lucky to even receive a fourth of the decided quota. . These over controlling state governments led to different forms of currency and trade problems. The states acted as individual countries instead of a united nation, with no strong central government to pull them together. The states with no real leadership developed differing laws, tariffs and trade laws from state to state. The states constitutions of each state even limited the power of central governments citizen’s rights. The difference in state constitutions, laws and currency led to major trade conflicts and inflation of individual currencies leading to major debts unplayable, eventually leading to Shay’s Rebellion.

Shay’s rebellion showed another major flaw in the articles; the almost worthless paper money of the nation, due to states ability to print there own currency, led to these men losing property and profit of any kind decided to enforce there own demands. This outburst showed that articles defective federal system with no power to put down this rebellion eventually ended by a state government funded by a few wealthy men.

The articles did create an army but with no money and desperately struggling in war debt with no good source of revenue the army was forced to endure little pay, congresses inability to pay there demands, and other injustices (C). they didn’t even have the authority to rid leftover British soldiers still “holed up” in old garrisons; made especially hard when still trying to fix trade problems with Brittan, including restrictions on our trade with them, and pay our massive debts (D). Our foreign problems don’t stop their Spain continued to pester us with conflict over the navigation of the Mississippi river (F), as well as the Frances continued frustration with our inability to pay back the debts we owed them.

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