The Articles of Confederation



The Articles of Confederation was the first officaly governing document of America. It was officialy adopted by America in 1781. The Articles of Confederation stated what the government can and cannot do. It was the first attempt to write a Contitution. The Articles of Confederation was eventually thrown out because they found problems with making the state government too strong and many other things.


A New Government


After America won against Britain they decided that they needed to make a new central government. They looked at England as an example and decided that they needed a state and central government. November 1777 the Committee of Congress met and wrote the Articles of Confederation. This was the first try at a constittution. The Articles of Confederation tells what the government can and cannot do.

this is the front page of the Articels of Confederation
this is the front page of the Articels of Confederation

What the Government could and could not do



What the government could do

The govenment could have a loose allaince with the states also known as the "league of friendship". Which means that the goverment could have a loose friendship with the states but the government is more important. The government could amend the articels with all 13 states agreeing. That means if the government wanted to change the articels they have to take a vote and if all of the 13 states vote yes then they can amend it. They can also create a law with 9 votes . That means if the government wants to make a law 9 out of 13 states have to vote yes.

What the government could not do

The government could not tax all the people or all the states. The government could not limit the enforcing ability. That means that the government could not limit the enforcing ability such as laws and taxes over the states. The government could also not give more power to the states with a larger population.

Why the Articels did not last

The Articels did not last very long because of what the government could and could not do. Some of these things were like giving more power to the states and not the central government and the states got in a lot of fights and could of over ruled the central government and we could of ended up with 13 different countries. The states also refused to pay taxes so central government could not pay off debt. Another thing that did not work was the "league of friendship". And because of all the things that did not work the government decided to make a new one called the Constitution.

this is the US Constitution
this is the US Constitution
Time for a change


Congress decided that the US needed a more powerful central government, they wanted untity, order, and prosperity. Delegates from five different states decided that all of the states needed to get together to revise the Articles, this was called the Constitutional Convention. At the Contitutional Convention they all decided that they needed to start all over with the Articles of Confederation. This was technically illegal. Also at the Constitutional Convention the delegates were suggesting changes and stating what was wrong with the Articles of Confederation so they knew what to put and what not to put in the new one called the Constitution. These are the parts of the Constitution, the articles - there are seven instead of thirteen, and the amendments - changes to the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation were replaced by what is known as the Constitution which is still used today.

References


1. Garraty, John A. The Story of America. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1994.

2. http://www.barefootworld.net/aoc/777.html

3. http://www.contitution.org/bcp/declaration.html