Essay Sample Dedicated to the Ineffective Nature of Articles of Confederation

Published: 2022-06-06
Essay Sample Dedicated to the Ineffective Nature of Articles of Confederation
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Federalism Constitution
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1518 words
13 min read

Articles of Confederation were regarded as the first affected federal policy after the development of the American government as an outcome of its liberation from England. The articles were permitted by the Congress after being ratified by all 13 states of America and took effect in the year 1781 (Hamilton and Alexander, et al., 2009). The first article stated that the independent country with free association united to form a voluntary group of an alliance. The second article reported that every state could maintain its independence, power, rights, and authority which was not delegated explicitly by the United States. The third article stated that countries enter into a strong union of friendship to provide security of their rights and welfare, coming together to help each other against attacks reflected them. The articles of confederation experienced significant defects because, in a confederation, political power is regionalized because the national government is weak and the local government is powerful (Morone and James, 2014). They were condemned because it was hard for a government to educate tax and also disallowed the national government from being convoluted in clashes between states.

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Congress was created after the government failed under the articles of confederation. A new constitution was tabled to strengthen the federal government which comprised a House of Representatives and Senate as the two branches of Congress. The first Congress had duties such as; swearing in the president, creating government departments, passing the bill of rights, passing laws and forming a scheme of courts.

Problems Faced By the Congress

There were five significant defects which uncovered in the course of the revolutionary war. The errors linked to taxing power, trade, the power to retain internal order, policymaking official and modification.

Taxing. Congress which is the principal establishment of the national government that did not have the power to impose tax had to plead the states to repay for the war and activities of the government. In case the state refused to send the congress money, Congress would do without but in desperation, it sold off western lands at a lower value than its worth. It is hard for a government to lead a nation without the power to tax.

Trade. The articles of confederation allowed each state to develop own trade conventions and charges that paved a way too great commercial trades. Congress did not have enough power to regulate trade because each state retained, unlike foreign policies which negatively influenced diplomacy and international affairs. Some of the states endorsed laws that only promoted economic interests of their state discriminating trade interests from outside the country. State power over trade became an obstruction to the growth of a national economy.

Power to Retain Internal Order. As a result of power decentralization, the Congress was not able to maintain the domestic order. The major obligations of a government are to support the good public law. Movements such as Shays' Rebellion and secessionist was a domestic disturbance, and the Congress was not able to respond effectively hence exposing the government as weak. The campaign led to adverse economic conditions, the rise in tax rates that saw farmers facing liquidation and mortgages were closed (Jay, John, and Wooton, 2003). This threat alarmed the government administrators and partisan leaders on the need to provide more power to the national government. Nevertheless, ambassadors to the constitutional agreement held in the summertime of 1787 decided to eradicate the articles of Confederation and create a fresh system of government.

Policymaking Officials. The articles failed to provide a chief policymaking executive. There was a fight against an executive figure that was accused of misuse of power during the Revolutionary War. The founders decided to create a dominant form of government that had a representative body and a jurisdictive institution that was carefully recognized with the democratic government. The legislation was difficult because development of modification required a unanimous endorsement of at least nine of thirteen states.

Modification. Political systems face encounters while trying to provide responsive changes to economic, social or political situations. Amendments to these articles could only be made by undisputed consensus of Congress and the state legislatures which became impossible for the government to acclimate to the problems facing it.

Federalists Agenda

Due to these problems, there was a formation of a federal system which is defined as a two-shared scheme of the government with sharing of power between a national or federal government and the local or state government. The division can either be specific or general in the areas of public policy. Particular areas include foreign affairs, trade and inventing money while broad areas include learning, law-breaking, tax and environmental policy. Federalists help in shaping the new US Constitution which made the internal government strong. The federalist succeeded in constraining the first congress to create a bill of rights ensuring the rights which antifederalists thought the Constitution dishonored. The federalists founded bilateral legislature and introduced greater power to US Supreme Court that reigned in the central government. Some of the federalist who helped strengthen the central government and were passionate to unite the thirteen states include James Madison, John Jay, James Wilson, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington.

The federalist agenda had two key points. The first point clarified that it was essential to have a resilient government that could act excellently on foreign affairs issues. The second point put effort to sway readers that federal government would have a little opportunity developing into a totalitarian power through the division of supremacies in the central government. The separate states would only weigh against one another hence none could rise to reach sovereignty. The Federalists had the following agenda:

National Banking System. Federalist Hamilton believed in a stable national government funded by a stable monetary and banking system. He also urged the government to watermark common currency that has a standard value throughout the country. The national banking system was a necessity to develop credit with other nations like Britain for resilient trade.

Excise tax. Excise tax paid by producers was another Federalist urgency. The government was given the power to collect the tax by the Constitution.

Alien and Sedition Acts. Federalist conceded laws that gave the president authority to banish non-Americans and make it a law-breaking to circulate false critics of the government.

Navy and Army. Federalists created a navy and expanded the army as a way of making the government stronger. They would pay for it with new taxes, houses, land, and slaves.

James Madison who is known as the father of constitution offered a political theory that explained how self-interest which is a trait of human nature to create a healthier government (Lutz and Donald, 2007). He told that a larger republic would build a defense for a large national democracy against dictatorship hence avoiding abuse of power. Enormous national republic would prevent local interest from escalating to governance, therefore, preventing abuse of power. Representatives at 1787 convention formulated a strategy for a resilient federal government comprised of three divisions; executive, legislative and judicial that would have no such authority over the other (Sinopoli and Richard, 2014).

Federalists supposed that if the constitution were not passed the nation would not have endured and that due to the failure of Articles of Confederation there was the need for a more robust national government. The federalists suggested ratification of the constitution with nine recommendatory modifications. Some parts of the constitution were defective and needed to be altered although the federalists supported it because it was much superior to the Articles of Confederation. Antifederalists suggested that the Constitution be amended before its implementation, but federalists argued that modifying the constitution before ratification is foolhardy and could endanger the Union. States like Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut endorsed the Constitution. Nonetheless, Massachusetts refused as it did not backup undelegated authorities to the locals and the fundamental political rights were not protected constitutionally.

James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and the help of John Jay penned some essays to the people persuading them to endorse the constitution. The Federalist papers described the work to be done by the new government. The collaboration between George Washington and James Madison played a significant role in unlocking the way to the convention hall. The partnership started in a paper that Madison just finished which overlooked on US political system vices. Delegates in Virginia with Washington as the leader had a sitting and primed a document basing it on Madison's paper which became a right turn to the states and provided massive power to the new national government. After some months of debate and compromise, the new constitution was tabled and ratified by thirty-nine of forty-two delegates who attended.

Works Cited

Hamilton, Alexander, et al. The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Classic Books America, 2009. pp. 49-61

Jay, John, and David Wooton. Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers. Hackett Publishing Co, Inc, 2003. p. 31-34

Lutz, Donald S. Colonial Origins of the American Constitution: a Documentary History. Liberty Fund, 2007. pp. 142-150

Morone, James A. By the People: Debating American Government. Oxford University Press, 2014. p. 176

Sinopoli, Richard C. From Many, One: Readings in American Political and Social Thought. Georgetown University Press, 2014. p. 76-82

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