Term Paper on Articles of Confederation

This essay has a total of 1067 words and 5 pages.


Articles of Confederation




In the 1770’s, as America’s great thinkers and writers were declaring their desire for
independence; they also established a committee to lay the foundation for the American
form of government. These brilliant writers and philosophers hesitantly began designing
the national level of government for use in America and named their final draft the
Articles of Confederation . Out of their utter distrust of a centralized government, due
to their association with the English monarchial system, the drafters deliberately
established these articles as a loose confederation of states, rather than a firmly united
nation. Life under the Articles of Confederation was filled with hardships and
uncertainty, and the political scene was paralyzed with inability due to the lack of
sovereignty in a central executive branch and the unanimous state consent required for the
ratification of an amendment together with the lack of a taxation privilege . However,
despite its inherent flaws, the Confederation government did prove capable to accomplish a
few foreign and domestic achievements.

Under the authority of the Confederation, the United States began to introduce itself in
the global scene. The United States determined its place in the community of nations by
establishing diplomatic relations and its participation in the world economy. The
Confederation Congress also accomplished something many historians overlook. They
successfully managed, organized, and eventually won the Revolutionary War . After winning
the war, the Congress went on to successfully negotiate the Treaty of Paris and compelled
the British to recognize American independence. On the domestic home front, the Congress
began to effectively solve the land ordnance problem. The Confederation Congress
established a procedure for governing the new territories and organized them into
prospective states, giving each prospective state full and equal status with the original
thirteen states. Furthermore, they institutionalized systems of local government, and
public education . Moreover, while accomplishing all this, the congress managed to keep
the national economy afloat. This proved to be an enormous feat because the economy was
suffering from the loss of colonial privileges. These major achievements were all
accomplished despite the inherent flaws in the basic structure of the Confederation
government.

The Articles of Confederation created a unicameral Confederation Congress, with each state
having only one vote. On most political matters this legislative body required the
approval of 9 out of 13 states to ratify any proposed Congressional intention. In Article
13, the Articles declared that in order to ratify an amendment to the Articles the consent
of all 13 states were required . This left the national government, running through the
Confederation Congress, powerless and unable to proceed with the most trivial matters of
politics. The Confederation Government, under the Articles, lacked an executive and
judicial branch. This caused Congress to be severely handicapped when it came to the
Continues for 3 more pages >>