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Articles of Confederation

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On July 4th, 1776, the Second Continental Congress issued the Declaration of Independence. Because the US knew they would need a government to replace the monarchy that ruled them, plans for a new government were being devised the month before we declared our independence. After much dispute and consideration, the final results for a government were the Articles of Confederation. It established a weak government which only consisted of a one-house legislature called the Confederation Congress. This was the first government of the US. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress could declare war, sign treaties and settle disputes between the states. They could also borrow and print money and ask states for funding although, states usually never provided enough money to help the government in a significant way. The big disadvantage that the US faced while trying to create this new nation under the Articles was Congress’ inability to tax. We were so afraid of a strong central government that we refused to give the power of taxation to Congress. But when the Northwest ordinance was passed, and we began to move toward the Ohio area, we faced many threats from the Natives there. With no money from taxes, we could not pay for a military so the citizens of America were left unprotected. Because there were many problems caused by the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention was held in 1787 to revise the Articles and they ended up being thrown out. The Constitution was then created to replace the Articles of Confederation. Powers were separated among three branches and taxes became active, allowing for a military. The Constitution also permitted the government to enter into treaties and trade agreements as a nation instead of thirteen individual colonies. The Articles could not make these things possible before.

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