Articles of Confederation
|Hail to the Chief?|
|Persons of interest|
The Articles of Confederation were the first attempt at a working document to unite the states after they'd seen off George III. It was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777 but wasn't ratified by all thirteen states until 1781.
They suffered the minor problem that they didn't actually work very well in practice. Thus, the United States Constitution a decade later.
There are some to this day who feel that the Articles were much better, thank you, and that we wouldn't have this overwhelming federal government if we'd just stuck with it a little longer.
Problems with the Articles included...
- a unicameral legislature that required a 2/3 majority to pass any legislation
- each state only received one vote regardless of population
- to amend the Articles required unanimous vote
- there was no national executive or national court system
- the national government was barred from raising an army, regulating trade, or collecting any taxes (yeah - the government had no money)
Problems under the Articles included...
- states didn't follow a national currency and instead printed their own money
- states placed tariffs on goods from other states
- the US could not place tariffs on foreign goods when foreign countries placed restrictions and tariffs on American goods
- American merchant ships more easily fell victim to pirates because of a weak navy
- because of the national government's inability to raise a army, the US became vulnerable to lurking adversaries
| The United States Constitution|
Articles: Article One Legislative Branch, Article Two Executive Branch, Article Three Judicial Branch, Article Four Federalism, Article Five Amendment Procedure, Article Six Supremacy Clause, Article Seven Ratification Procedure.
Amendments: Eleventh Amendment, Twelfth Amendment, Thirteenth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, Fifteenth Amendment, Sixteenth Amendment, Seventeenth Amendment, Eighteenth Amendment, Nineteenth Amendment, Twentieth Amendment, Twenty First Amendment, Twenty Second Amendment, Twenty Third Amendment, Twenty Fourth Amendment, Twenty Fifth Amendment, Twenty Sixth Amendment, Twenty Seventh Amendment