Articles of confederation Essay

Submitted By tayler501
Words: 2078
Pages: 9

The Articles of Confederation was a work of art for that time period, a genius idea. It was a great starting point for the United States history. It helped shape this country to what it is now. Without it, the American government today would not be the same. Without it, the Constitution would not have been created in its perfect entirety. Life without either of these documents would be dramatically different for every single American citizen. Heck, there probably would not even be a United States. It’s possible we would be living under some unfair laws that a dictator forced upon us. Anything would be possible if the Articles of Confederation or our new Constitution was never put in place. But, instead of thinking on the negative side, life also could have been better. A different country would have emerged that created everything perfectly. Some different Constitution could have been placed that made the higher power follow there own laws, and not let them add a new law to let them do anything they wanted and get away with it. The same laws were in effect for all the people, even for the higher power. Peace is all that we would know. I know that idea would have been a little out there, still it would have been more likely a dictatorship would have evolved, But anything is possible. Either way, life as we know it would have never exist!
The Articles of Confederation was considered America’s first Constitution. Basically it was a peace treaty between the thirteen sovereign states. “It amounted to nothing more than a league of friendships, a form of alliance in which each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress Assembled.” (Beeman, 8) After the Revolutionary war, a government had to be put in place; this is when the Articles of Confederation was born. The government’s sole purpose was to manage the affairs of the republics as a whole. With many responsibilities and little authority, it is easy to see that the government is going to have a hard time managing the problems between these thirteen states! One major problem was the currency. Article IX of the Articles of Confederation stated, “The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective State.” During this time, Congress was printing money with no currency to back it up. Additionally, all of the states designed and created their own form of currency. This made trade between the states extremely difficult. Without any actual standard, reliable currency, it made it even harder to trade with other countries. If one decided to go to a different state, most of the time nobody would accept the currency he possessed. One can see that any form of trading was very difficult and confusing. The power of the purse was also a main issue. The Articles did not allow Congress to demand that American citizens pay taxes. Also, they were not allowed to force states to partially pay for government expenses. It is shocking to consider such government enforced standards! After all, the American people did just fight a war to free themselves from the strong squeeze of government regulations. To add to that, any changes Congress wished to make, would have to be approved by thirteen states. This made any possible changes to the articles nearly impossible. What state would vote to tie itself to budget quotas when they could not force payment from citizens to fulfill it? Additionally, the articles failed to mandate the position of chief executive to maintain organization, provide direction, and fulfill its essential duties. In an effort to slow down the on-going mid-Revolution depression, the Continental Congress started issuing paper money. This money was supposedly guaranteed by the thirteen states,