This Is An Essay Analyzing The Articles Of Confederation As A First Draft For The Constitution

526 words - 3 pages

The Articles of Confederation are considered by some a good first draft for the Constitution. On the other hand, other historians consider them to be full of weaknesses and shortcomings. However, there is evidence to support both points of view on the Articles.There are many points in the Articles that are also used in the Constitution. The legislative branch remained intact and retained the powers to declare war, maintain an army and a navy and coin money. The necessities not included in the Articles of Confederation were an important learning experience as well. After the Articles of Confederation, the founders understood the federal government needed the power to enforce laws, regulate commerce, ...view middle of the document...

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who say there were no good points to the Articles of Confederation. For eight years, the United States was incredibly weak and vulnerable. The central authority had no power to levy taxes on its citizens, regulate commerce, no court system, no way to settle disputes amongst states, and no plausible way to amend the articles. While they provided for an army and navy, there was no funding for them. In fact, with voluntary tax contribution by the states, there was no real funding for the central government at all. Therefore, if the United States were attacked at anytime, there would be very little resistance. When Hamilton and others stated that it was merely a document full of weaknesses and shortcomings, they were in some respects correct. The document did not have any true power to establish a federal government since the states were the genuine rulers of the nation.In my opinion, the Articles of Confederation was an ineffective, but necessary document in the history of the United States. Every good project must have a rough draft and establishing a nation is no different. Without the experiences of inter state rivalries, lack of funding, and problems with foreign policy, they would not have been fixed or provided for in the constitution. The Articles proved to Americans the necessity of a strong federal government that still delegates some power to the states. With all its shortcomings, it did govern the U.S. for a short time without any huge disasters befalling the country. While not a good document in the long run, it was an excellent learning experience and a great short-term plan.

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