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The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Articles Of Confederation

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The Articles of Confederation

The Articles of Confederation were the first attempt at forming a unified government after the American Revolution. The Articles of Confederation were passed in 1777, went formally endorsed in 1981 after got ratified by 13 states and were replaced with the US Constitution at the Constitutional Convention in 1988. Under the Articles, the first government had its strength and obtained a few respectful achievements such as negotiated a treaty to end the Revolutionary War with the Treaty of Paris, formed a unified nation with a central government, and passed the Northwest Ordinance. However, it worked good in dealing with the war, but it completely failed in the effort to unite and improve the U.S at peacetime. The
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Under the Articles, there was no executive branch to enforce laws or judicial branch to interpret laws. There was only a legislative branch of government, which was Congress. Therefore, each state enforced its own law ruling by their own court and often lead to disputes between states, especially when trading goods among states. In those disputes, Congress just played the role of mediator or judge; and even though, Congress had decision-making power, but it was impossible for the federal government enforce it because states had the final decision and they often declined Congress’ decisions and judgments. Another problem regards to voting. These was only one vote for each state regardless of size or population. The states like Rhode Island, Delaware or Georgia, which had a small population, have the same amount of voting weight as the states like New York or Virginia, which had many times larger population back then. Therefore, “there was no proportionality in voting matters and states with larger populations were quite unhappy with this set-up” (). The idea that “each State shall have one vote” might make us think it could help passing law and amending the Articles much easier, but, unfortunately, it proved the opposite. According to the Articles of Confederation, no new laws could be passed without a minimum two-thirds votes which required the vote 9 out of 13 (approximate 70 percent) states and amending Articles required unanimous consent which mean every state had to agree to make any changes to it. Basically, that was a very difficult number to attain, a few states could prevent anything from being accomplished and one state could preclude any amendment to make the system work, even though it was just a small population state like Rhode Island. Thus, the laws were rarely passed. Additionally, national defense was another problem that the Articles of Confederation completely failed to

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