Articles of the Confederation vs. Constitution
December 10, 2012
The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution are two contrasting documents written by the Founding Fathers. The documents are very different from one another yet they share a few rare similarities. The weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation prompted Congress to scrap them and begin again with the Constitution. Not all problems were solved by the Constitution, but they were signiﬁcantly reduced. In any case, the Constitution, the foundation of America, has stood for centuries with very few revisions. Comparing the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution is difﬁcult because the two documents are so innately different. However, there are several notable similarities. In both documents, the United States had a representative government. States would elect a number of ofﬁcials to assemble in Congress which was headed by a president. This assembly had the power to arbitrate between states. Interestingly, Congress was given power to conscript a navy but not an army. Perhaps they were more concerned about attack by sea than by land.
Differences are much more readily found when comparing the Articles and the Constitution. The biggest difference between the two was that the states were sovereign under the Articles of Confederation whereas the Constitution gave the federal government sovereignty. Under the Constitution, the three-branch, checks and balance system of governing was established. Among other drastic changes, Congress was given power to levy taxes. The Presidential seat was vested with enough power to balance out the legislative and judicial branches. This compares to the Articles in the President was merely a ﬁgurehead leader.
The Legislature was divided into two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Two Senators from every state were elected