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Confederation and Constitution


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| Historical Essay: | Confederation and Constitution | | Jason Sherman | |


The Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, was adopted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777. However, sanction of the Articles of Confederation by all thirteen states did not occur until March 1, 1781. The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, which resulted in most of the power residing with the state governments. The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The present United States Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation on March 4, 1789 (Researchers, 2013).
Some weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation that ultimately resulted in failure were the fact that each state only had one vote in Congress, regardless of size, Congress did not have the power to tax, Congress did not have the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce, there was no executive branch to enforce any acts passed by Congress, there was no nation court system, Amendments to the Articles of Confederation required a unanimous vote, and laws required a 9/13 majority to pass in Congress. Under the Articles of Confederation, states often argued amongst themselves. They also refused to financially support the national government, who was also powerless to enforce any acts it did pass. Some states began making agreements with foreign governments. Most states had their own military and printed their own money. The conclusive result was that there was no stable economy (Kelly).
The new plan for the nation was called the Federal Constitution. It had been drafted by a group of national leaders in Philadelphia in 1787, who then presented it to the general public for consideration. The Constitution amounted to a

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