The Articles of
Confederation was written by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War.
As time progressed, the thirteen colonies became the thirteen states. However, none
of the thirteen colonies were on the same page; they did not act together, or come
together as a nation. The colonies desperately needed some form of government that
was powerful enough to unite them all. They also wanted written down rules so that
all the states would have to follow and agree upon. The Articles of Confederation
was written and passed in 1777 and the document was ratified in March 1781.
The Articles of Confederation stated that the new government
of the United States would not be ruled by a king. Instead each state would have
one and only one vote in the Congress. That caused the highly populated states to
not be too powerful. In other words, the Articles of Confederation made sure that
the new government would have “limited powers in order to protect the liberties
of the people.” Since there was no executive branch, and the states and legislature
were supreme, judicial functions were limited. However, the articles permitted the
Congress to do things like “settling conflicts among the states, making coins, borrowing
money, and making treaties with other countries.”
The articles worked very well during the American Revolution
period. However, the government slowly began to weaken after problems were continuously
being pointed out. Problems within the article itself showed that the document had
a lot of flaws. Problems in the United States were that most of the power was held
by states, the government did not have an executive branch or a judicial system,
and that there was simply no system of checks and balances. To add on, there were
problems caused by the Articles of Confederation between other countries too. Trading
with Britain, for example, was making the United State’s economic condition worse
and worse. Because of the Treaty of Paris, “Britain closed many of its ports to
American ships. Britain also forced American merchants to pay high tariffs.”In addition,
Shay’s Rebellion sparked the nation. Farmers had a hard time paying heavy debts
and taxes with little money coming in. The farmers wanted the courts to be shut
down so they began a revolt.
As a result, the Articles of Confederation was replaced in
1788 by the Constitution.