Essays about the Articles of Confederation Essay Sample

DBQ: “From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effectual authorities. ” Using the paperss and your cognition of the period. measure this statement.

Sample Essay 1: Excellent ( mark of 9 )

Some historiographers consider the alliance period of American history. from 1781 to 1789. the most critical epoch in the nation’s development. Having rebelled against royal authorization. the aggregation of American settlements. now become a aggregation of American provinces. had to develop a new authorities. This authorities was the Articles of Confederation. a basic fundamental law. which was ratified by all the provinces in 1781 before the Revolutionary War ended. But from their construct in 1781 to their forsaking in 1789. the Articles were wholly unequal. supplying the U. S. with an uneffective authorities. Possibly the greatest part the Articles made was to demo the people that a strong cardinal authorities was needed.

In basic construction. the Articles of Confederation were comparatively simple. Since US solons had small trust in the arbitrary Judgess and sovereigns of Britain. the Articles provided for no bench or executive subdivision. The organic structure of authorities was the Congress. consisting delegates from the 13 provinces. Congress was a weak organic structure. once more reflecting the US’s fright of sovereign every bit good as the independent heritage possessed by the separate settlements. Amendments could be made merely by consentaneous consent of all 13 states–a instead rare phenomenon–and even national Torahs required a two-thirds bulk. besides slightly unlikely. Therefore. from 1781 to 1789 the U. S. possessed a really weak control authorities with single provinces happening it easy to blockade statute law.

In analyzing the foreign and domestic policy of the Articles. one sees their entire insufficiency as a fundamental law. Since single provinces held their ain involvement above that of the new state. they sought to barricade much statute law that did non prefer them straight. Merely in one country did the Congress coax a incorporate policy from the provinces. the country of land reform. The major landholding states–Virginia. New York. Connecticut. and Massachusetts–did cede their western lands to the Congress. Further. in 1785 and 1787 statute law. the Congress provided for public instruction and prohibition of bondage in these lands. every bit good as for their admittance to the Union as new provinces. The presbyopia and value of this statute law can barely be overstated. but it is one of the few illustrations on Congress’ accomplishments. In most other domestic policy affairs. Congress was thwarted at every bend.

The missive from the Rhode Island Assembly to Congress ( Nov. 30. 1782 ) indicates one major job of the Confederation government–it could non establish a unvarying duty. Because no duty would be favourable to 2/3 of the provinces. as this one was opposed by Rhode Island and likely the other province centres of commercialism. it was virtually impossible to ordain a national duty. The Rhode Island missive besides reveals a misgiving in the appointive officers of Congress and a disinclination to give up any power to Congress. These attitudes were common to each of the provinces. and explicate why much proposed Congressional statute law was ne’er enacted.

Further. Congress did non hold the power to revenue enhancement the single provinces. as indicated in the missive from Virginian Joseph Jones to George Washington ( Feb. 27. 1783 ) . Congress could inquire for but non demand money–it could wheedle and wheedle but non hale. This failing had terrible branchings. It meant that public creditors of Congress could non be paid. cut downing the public’s religion in the cardinal authorities. Further. Congress did non hold the money to put up an effectual ground forces and to pay its soldiers. looking ailment for the defence of the immature state.

The failing of the ground forces and the disunity of the single provinces kept the Confederation authorities from doing any noteworthy successes in foreign policy. Foreign states had no motivation to esteem Congress’ demands since there was neither a incorporate state or a strong ground forces endorsing these demands.

In 1785. John Jay instructed the US curate to Great Britain to demand “in a respectful but steadfast manner” the return of frontier stations on US district controlled by the British and the terminal of British limitations on US trade. Neither would come under the Confederation authorities ( US trade with the British West Indies was non reopened until the 1830’s ) . With Spain. two jobs confronted Congress. as related by John Jay in 1786: Spain asked the US to release pilotage rights on the Mississippi and to give up its claims to certain western lands. Although pilotage rights were of import to US husbandmans. Jay was forced to profess them in his dialogues with a Spanish curate. Rights were non secured until after the Confederation authorities ended ( in Pinckney’s Treaty. 1794 ) . and the clash over land claims was merely settled by force in the early nineteenth century. Therefore. the Articles of Confederation authorities proved wholly uneffective in achieving foreign policy aims.

The combined failings of the authorities had sedate effects. In 1787. a western Massachusetts husbandman. Daniel Shays. led a rebellion against the cardinal authorization which was crushed merely with trouble. Discontent was non limited to the popular multitudes. A missive from John Jay to George Washington–both were affluent aristocrats–expressed the fright that “the better sort of people [ the nobility or patrician category ] will be led by. . . insecurity. . . and the loss of assurance in their swayers. . . [ to ] prepare. . . for about any alteration that may assure. . . security. ” Therefore. there was much discontent with the Confederation authorities. proposing its ineffectualness.

Jay’s “change that may assure security” came in 1789 when US solons met in Philadelphia to trash the Confederation and compose a Constitution. making a different authorities. one stronger and more centralized. The Articles had failed to raise money through revenue enhancement or duty. to keep a strong ground forces. to implement US rights in respects to other states. and to keep security and order. But they did function a intent in that they pointed out the demand for a strong cardinal authorities. and served as a passage from the disunity of the colonial period to the creative activity of a United States of America. More as a symbol than as an effectual fundamental law. the Articles were of some value in a critical period in the nation’s history. * * *

Sample Essay 2: Excellent ( mark of 8 )

The period in American History from 1781 to 1789. during which the United States was organized under the Articles of Confederation. was non characterized by a strong and effectual authorities. but alternatively provided the model upon which a more effectual authorities could be built. The Articles of Confederation. since they prevented a strong cardinal authorities from holding power over states’ rights. tended to make jobs for a authorities that wished to govern with any sum of authorization. This was peculiarly apparent in the countries of foreign dealingss. internal discontent over duties. and political party battles.

While the United States was trying to set up itself in diplomatic personal businesss. this became progressively hard to make since the federal authorities had small power when it came to duties and import responsibilities. and besides because it had no manner of implementing any understanding which it made with other states. John Jay’s Treaty with Great Britain proposed steps which would better dealingss between Great Britain and the U. S. . but because the U. S. was non a strong military power. it lacked the agencies to implement the understandings of Jay’s Treaty. A similar type of state of affairs occurred when the U. S. tried to negociate with Spain over the right to voyage on the Mississippi River. Because of the failing of the authorities under the Articles of Confederation. the United States did non make a peaceable colony refering the Mississippi River until the Pinckney Treaty of the 1790’s.

Political party battles ( or struggles between the beginnings of political parties ) besides tended to convey about disunity in the early authorities. thereby weakening its effectivity. Rawlin Lowndes reflected the attitudes of the pre-Constitutional epoch in his address to the South Carolina House of Representatives. when he stated that. instead than rupture down the existing authorities and follow a fundamental law. efforts should be made to better the bing construction. Further struggles over the nature of the Constitution occurred between Federalists. who supported a Fundamental law with commissariats for a strong cardinal authorities. and anti-federalists. who favored domination of states’ rights. These struggles added to the bing problems of the authorities under the Articles of Confederation. therefore doing it even more hard to govern efficaciously.

Internal jobs besides existed in the country of land distribution. although these were solved reasonably efficaciously by the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Regulation of 1787. The mode in which new lands acquired from Great Britain had been redistributed besides caused an addition in the religion of the authorities between 1781 and 1789. However. internal battles continued to be. Duties that were passed between provinces caused internal clash for the new state and the deficiency of a incorporate pecuniary system brought extra jobs. Since the authorities under the Articles was non given power to put up a sound currency system. or to set up a national bank. even greater disorganisation prevailed.

The establishing male parents realized this demand for a stronger cardinal authorities and finally organized at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia to discourse the job. Although they recognized the present government’s failings. they besides saw that the basic construction of it was based on a sound rule and should non be done off with wholly. Although jobs continued to be over inquiries like whether to hold a national bank. the Establishing Fathers finally agreed that a Constitution and a strong cardinal authorities would be needed if the authorities of the U. S. was to govern efficaciously. * * *

Sample Essay 3: Satisfactory ( mark of 5 )

Following the American Revolution. a new state. The United States of America. was conceived. The regulating policies adopted by this state were known as the Articles of Confederation. The Articles were used to regulate the United States from the period of 1781-1789. They were based upon the belief that the provinces should possess more power than the federal authorities. The Articles of Confederation nevertheless. shortly proved to be uneffective and steps were taken to change them.

The Articles of Confederation provided for a authorities wherein the provinces would possess more power than the federal authorities. In other words. the parts that made up the whole. would be greater than the whole itself. The Americans did non desire one adult male or one subdivision. to hold complete control of the authorities. They were afraid that another “king” would take the topographic point of the male monarch they had removed through the revolution. This. in portion. explains why the provinces were given more power. For illustration. each single province controlled revenue enhancement. non the federal authorities.

As evidenced in Document C. a missive signifier Delegate Joseph Jones of Virginia to George Washington ( February 27. 1783 ) . Congress could non pay the soldiers in the ground forces their back wage or fillips. Congress could non “…pay their demands. unless furnished with the agencies by the several provinces. and that organic structure [ has non ] obtained the agencies. ” Another illustration of a state’s power over Congress can be seen in Document A. a missive from Rhode Island Assembly to Congress ( November 30. 1782 ) . Some steps passed by Congress could be declared void by a province if the province found the step to be out of the bound of that state’s fundamental law. Since there were 13 separate fundamental laws for each of the 13 provinces. it would be hard for Congress to go through a step that was non outside of the bounds of someone’s fundamental law. Therefore. few steps were passed that enhanced the United States. The provinces were for the most portion concerned with what would profit their province. non the state on a whole.

As can be evidenced in Document E. a ocular assistance from John Blum’s. The National Experience. the provinces sometimes acted as 13 separate states alternatively of the one state they were supposed to be. Several of the provinces ceded western land. The cession of land is an act that is usually done by a state non a province. Since the Articles of Confederation provided for the provinces to hold more power than the federal authorities. it shortly proved to be an uneffective signifier of authorities.

A few old ages after the adopting of the Articles of Confederation. many people began to see it as uneffective. John Jay. in a missive to George Washington ( June 27. 1786 ) . Document G. feels that something is incorrect with the authorities. Although he does non cognize what is incorrect. he feels the people will feel something is awry and they will “consider the appeals of autonomy as fanciful and false. ” This province will “prepare their heads for about any alteration that may assure them quiet and security. ”

Some people wanted to either alter the alliance or to follow another fundamental law. This can be evidenced in Document H. a study of Rawlin Loundes’ address to the South Carolina House of Representatives ( January 17. 1788 ) . A new fundamental law was subsequently adopted to replace the uneffective Articles of Confederation. * * * *

Sample Essay 4: Unsatisfactory ( mark of 3 )

It has been stated that. “From 1781 to 1789 the Articles of Confederation provided the authorities with an effectual government” . but this can non be entirely true. The Articles of Confederation had such mistakes as: the power of authorities was concentrated in single provinces. determinations had to be passed nem con. each province despite its size or population was merely allotted one ballot. and it had non the authorization to revenue enhancement. The consequences of these mistakes can be seen in some of the paperss.

In a missive from the Rhode Island Assembly. the province rejects the recommendation of Congress. The power of a province to overrule any of United states congresss recommendations can non be really effectual. States may reject policies for strictly selfish grounds or even for no ground at all.

In a missive from Delegate Joseph Jones of Virginia. it is stated that the ground forces is discontented with Congress because it has been slow to follow with their petitions. The actions of the ground forces show that the single provinces and their people have much control over the authorities.