1985 DBQ AP United States History Essay

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As the first official document that defined the United States government, the Articles of Confederation both reflected the ideas and view factors of the American Revolution and emphasised the sensible uncertainties of democratic government. To say that the Articles of Confederation supplied the United States with an effective authorities, can be over-exaggerating fairly a bit. The Congress was weak, and was purposely designed to be weak. They have been purposely set up as a weak authorities so that the federal government might be less threatening.

The American authorities didn’t need to be a tyrant like that of the British authorities. The Articles of Confederations initial intention was to provide a free confederation or “firm league of friendship.” Thirteen independent states had been therefore linked together for joint action in dealing with overseas affairs. Despite their fragility, the Articles proved to be a landmark in government, and at that time a mannequin of what a loose confederation ought to be.

The Articles of Confederation had many accomplishments and strengths.

It ended the Revolutionary War. The U.S. authorities may declare some credit score for the ultimate victory of Washington’s army and for negotiating favorable terms within the treaty of peace with Britain. It stored the states unified through the warfare, and dealt successfully with western lands. The Land Ordinance of 1785 was set up to repay debt, distributed land in an orderly fashion, and provided land for public education. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787was in all probability the best home success of the Articles; stated that 60,000 people was needed to turn out to be a state.

This would prevent future issues for western colonies, and it forbade slavery. [Document E] The Articles of Confederation maintained sovereignty and equality amongst states(each having one vote in Congress,) and had energy to reply to overseas affairs, declare struggle, appoint military officers, and coin cash. Despite the Articles of Confederations strengths, they were also comparatively weak.

Under the Articles of Confederation nine out of thirteen states must agree to move laws, and all 13 must agree to amend new articles; which had been principally impossible. Neither did Congress have any government power to enforce its personal laws. Congress couldn’t regulate trade between states and foreign nations, reqruit a army force, nor uniform foreign money. Each state had it’s own currency, which made travel and trade troublesome.

Trade rules diversified from state to state which created additional difficulties. In a letter from the Rhode Island Assembly to Congress in 1782, it confirmed that underneath the Articles, the central government couldn’t levy taxes. To create a tax or change a regulation required a unanimous vote. Rhode Island listed a quantity of the cause why they did not support the new tax. Some states refused to pay taxes. States argued about land and how some states obtained more land than the others. These issues led to Shay’s Rebellion; the place many farmers misplaced land because of foreclosures and tax delinquency. Hundreds rebelled demanding cheap paper cash. This period in time confirmed the federal government was too weak.

Another downside the government faced due to the lack of strength of the Articles had been Britain making an attempt to reap the advantages of that reality. The British maintained troops along the Canadian border and in the United States buying and selling posts as a result of the British knew that the Americas couldn’t do something due to lack of navy. In John Jay’s Instructions to the united states Minister to Great Britain, he describes the need of the minister to convince Britain to take away its troops. This caused great fear and troubled the Americans. The Americans apprehensive that the British had been unwilling to accept the Treaty of Paris and have been plotting revenge. John Jay instructed the minister to be unyielding with the British. Britain and Spain didn’t go about conquering America as a end result of the Americans owed them cash. Eventually Spain seized the mouth of the Mississippi which minimize trading routes.

In Rawlin Lowndes’ speech to the South Carolina House of Representatives, he was debating the adoption of a federal constitution. Rawlin Lowndes believed that instead of simply adopting a completely new structure, they need to just make new additions to the already current Articles of Confederation. Many Anti-Federalists had the same views as Rawlin Lowndes. When the Federalists finally agreed to add the Bill of Rights to the Constitution, they were in a position to win a very slim majority. This proximity of the race confirmed that many individuals permitted of the Articles and thought that they were an effective type of government.

In Thomas Jefferson’s words, “This example of changing the structure by assembling the clever men of the state, as an alternative of assembling armies, might be price as a lot to the world as the previous examples we now have given it.” Prior to this, almost all constitutions or legal guidelines throughout the world had been both immutable or worse, had been changed on a whim (by the king, for example). The solely approach to affect change, or the adjustments you wanted, have been by force. The system set forth by the founders was one by which the legal guidelines have been binding, yet there was an orderly and defined course of by which they could be amended, via political process, not force.

Thomas Jefferson was expressing that this example would spread throughout the world as higher method to govern, and he was right. In spite of their defects, the Articles of Confederation had been a major stepping-stone towards the present Constitution. They clearly outlined the overall powers that had been to be exercised by the central government, corresponding to making treaties, and establishing a postal service. Although some features of the Articles of Confederation were indicators of an efficient authorities, the information prove that the Articles of Confederation were not an efficient form of government because they lacked political stability, economic development and a productive foreign policy.

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