Articles Of Confederation Dbq

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When the United States had just declared their independence, it was clear that governmental structure needed to be established. In 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, which all states would ratify by 1781. The Articles of Confederation would prove to be a weak constitution, giving too much power to the states and not having a strong enough central government. This realization led to several changes being made until a new framework was implemented. The Constitution established a better relationship between central and state governments, while making sure that no form of government would become too powerful. In addition, the guarantee and protection of citizen rights were also written into this new constitution. …show more content…
One of the major problems created from the fear of an overly powerful central government, was that the states had too much individual power. Article II of the Articles of Confederation stated that “each state remains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence,” causing many problems when it came to foreign affairs, defense, and commerce. With the amount of individual power each state had, it was as if it were several countries bordering each other. In addition, when it came to foreign affairs, each state had to be spoken to separately and negotiations had to be made to accommodate each state separately and the central government was not able to properly enforce existing treaties. At the same time, the United States was facing a threat from Spain due to its holding of territories in North and South America. With each state acting separately, there was no national military, thus putting the borders of the new country at risk. However, due to Article II, the central government was not able to interfere with any interstate issues. The central government was a single Congress, which left the execution of the few laws to be left by each state. The powers given to Congress in the Articles of Confederation were the ability to declare war and peace, make treaties or alliances, to coin or borrow money and to regulate trade with …show more content…
Congress was one house, filled with people who were chosen by the state government as a way to voice their opinion in Congress. Each state, no matter the size, got one vote on issues (AoC,Article 5, Clause 4: In determining questions in the united states, in Congress assembled, each state shall have one vote), and if any amendments were to be added to the Articles, each state had to agree with it. The central government also didn’t have a president or any other presiding officer. The fear of an overly powerful higher government was prevalent in American society. To begin this change, political men from each state met in Philadelphia in May of 1787 to discuss how to make their country better. They decided to stop trying to reform the Articles of Confederation and just restart with a new Constitution. The first thing to happen was the Great Compromise, or the Connecticut Compromise. This arose from two smaller plans, the Virginia and New Jersey Plan. The Virginia Plan was meant to work out for the larger states as it called for representation in the central government based on the population of each state. Since the southern states were typically bigger and had more people, including slaves (Three-Fifths Compromise), they would have more say in legislation. On the other hand, The New Jersey Plan called for equal state representation no matter the size. In order to meet in the middle,

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