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Articles of Confederation: Revolutionary War

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Ever since the Revolutionary war, America had become an independent country. Of course, they needed a national government to keep things in order. So then, the Articles of Confederation was created as the first attempt of a national government.In a confederation, the states, maintain their sovereignty, but they join together in a coordinated way to deal with certain issues. This independence of each political state is seen as the main advantage and main disadvantage of a confederation. Ever since the Articles of Confederation, many problems had occurred. For example, there were a lot of dept problems. Such as paying back the loans government had borrowed, and the money to keep a standing army. Also each state had only had one vote, and that each state had to agree for a law to be passed. So there wasn’t really a distribution for voting power. But in spite of all the problems, the Articles of Confederation did have some successes. In this case, it was the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance, which created territorial government. Therefore, the Articles of Confederation wasn’t that effective, but in some matter was effective in solving the problems that confronted the new nation.

One reason that the Articles of Confederation were not effective in solving the problems is that, it didn’t let the national government tax. The government can’t support the nation, if it didn’t have the ability to place taxes on imported goods. For example, there were many Americans who had fought during the war, and supplied goods to the army. They were given loan certificates which had made them wait, where soon the congress can pay them back, but they failed. The congress had owed 34 million to Americans and 10 million to foreign leaders. The little money that the congress made went to foreign leaders. But the Americans still had to wait with the certificates. To solve the problem, it was requested that there should be 5 percent tax on goods, so they can make more money. But under the Articles of Confederation, the law is that every state had to agree, for the law to be passed. Even the majority had voted yes, Rhode Island was the only state, out of 13 states, that had disagreed to this request, so the law couldn’t pass. Therefore, the nation had become really unbalanced, and unstable.

Another problem was that the lack of soldiers, the United States had. Due to the weak finances, and the little power the congress had, the continental army wasn’t treated that great. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress had the authority to form a Navy, and the states could arm ships to fight privacy. Congress could also establish an army, but it had to base on state population and apportioned by state population. Therefore problems emerged. There was food and clothing lacking, and bonuses and wages promised to the soldiers were never fully paid. The congress had promised to grant them a life long pension equaling half there pat once the war was over, but the promise was broken. By cause of all these problems, everything had led to Americans military force only having fewer than 700 soldiers. In essence, the national movement couldn’t really help, because of the financial problems.

Even though the under the Articles of Confederation, United States had witnessed many problems, it still had a few successes. In this case, the passing of Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance. Congress had passed the Land Ordinance of 1785 to establish order in the West. The ordinance had arranged that new western towns were to be thirty six miles square, with one square mile set aside for schools. All public lands were to auctioned off to the highest bidders, proving all Americans the chance to migrate and settle in the west. The Congress had later passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 to establish a process for admitting these territories to the Union as states. Each territory was to be governed by Congress until it had 5,000 free while male. Then settlers could vote whether to become a permanent state on equal as all the other states in the Union. Therefore it was a success towards the nation because both ordinances had created territorial government, set up protocols for the admission of new states, the division of land into useful units, and set aside land in each township for public use.

The Unites states central government was genuinely weak under the Articles of Confederation. Even if it had successes such as the Land Ordinance and the Northwest Ordinance, there were more weaknesses than successes. The nation had been going through many problems like, not being able to tax. They had trouble paying back foreign lenders, and some Americans. Also they couldn’t keep a strong standing army because of the way they got treated, barely any food and clothes, due to financial problems. The government was unstable, unbalanced, and out of place. Many people began to protest, but the National government couldn’t do anything. So sooner or later, due to the fact of fear of rebellions caused by the people, the Articles of Confederation was soon replaced by the Constitution. Therefore the Articles of Confederation weren’t as effective in solving the problems the nation had.

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