Articles Of Confederation

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Articles of Confederation

A. National government weak with little real authoriity.
1. Executive selected by members of Congress, one year term, only a figurehead with no real power.
2. No judiciary.
3. Congress given broad powers; set quotas for men and money which could be asked for from the states; make commercial and other Treaties; conduct war and foreign affairs, including negotiation with Indians; manage public lands in the west, limit state boundaries, and admit new states; borrow money, sell war bonds, regulate coinage and provide a currency base; but denied the same powers the people denied to Parliament: could not tax; funds contributed to the national government only when appropriated by the states based on requests by Congress proportionately according to population; legislation and ammendments only with unanimous consent (not one was ever passed). Elections were to be held annually - no one elected delegate could serve for more than three years, but could return after three years.

B. States
1. Received one vote each in congress;
2. More powerful than the national government;
3. Duplicated many of the powers of the national government;
4. Right to issue bills of credit, borrow and mint money, deal with foreign governments and engage in war (with congress's consent);
5. Only states could tax citizens, legislate regarding family affairs and indebtedness and the making of contracts;
6. Feared giving too much power to one man;
7. 11 of 13 states wrote constitutions (CN and RI kept their colonial charters of 1662-63) during the Revolution, which were the work of revolutionary conventions or congresses (except MA which used a constitutional convention (1779) and a ratification process involving its citizens).

C. Proposed Legislation/Amendments
1. The proposal of a 5% duty on imports was defeated by Rhode Island in 1781;
2. A second import duty proposed in 1783 was vetoed when NY placed so many conditions on it that the other states would not agree to them.
3. Attempts to create a Federal court of seven judges (August 1786), give Congress power over foreign and domestic commerce and strengthen the federal requisition system to ensure payment of state quotas were so strongly opposed by some states that the matters were never submitted to the states.

D. Agriculture
1. Farmers suffered during the war, having fences and buildings destroyed and crops burned, dikes in the Carolinas were neglected or destroyed by troops, the frontier line was pushed back because of Indian raids, and the labor supply was depleted because of runaway slaves, encouraged by the British;
2. After the war, farmers lost the payment of bounties for certain crops like indigo and markets closed within the British empire, so that surplus crops drove prices down.
3. Western settlers (esp. Kentucky and Tennessee) needed salt, guns, powder, shot, farm implements, cloth, notions and small luxuries, which must be purchased in Europe or Asia;
4. Because the overland route (Appalachian MTS) by pack mule was too costly, wes-tern settlers sailed goods down the Mississippi and its tributaries to New Orleans, for shipment to the Caribbean or the East coast.
5. According to the Treaty of 1763, Spain controlled the mouth of the Mississippi and was reluctant to allow Americans to use New Orleans.

E. Commerce
1. Americans lost markets within the British empire after independence.
2. Although markets opened in the Far East, and trade increased with France, Dutch West Indies and the Dutch after 1778, the new markets did not offset lost British markets
3. The per capita American exports were lower in 1790 than in 1775.

F. Industry
1. American manufacturers fared well during the war, but after the peace, consumers went on a spending spree, leaving manufacturers with few customers;
2. Some states used tariffs to protect local industry but importing merchants opposed it
3. States exempted goods exported from other states,