The Article Of Confederation Essay Research Paper

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The Article Of Confederation Essay, Research Paper Independence from Britain made necessary the establishment of a new government. Eleven states drew up new constitutions; Connecticut and Rhode Island revised colonial charters. The Articles of Confederation created a loose union of near-sovereign states. The Confederation was inadequate and was failing in the structure of government. They also were in deep trouble, financially and economically. The Articles of Confederation probably achieved its most important success in the handling of west diplomatic and financial concerns. In evaluting post-American Revolutionary War, overall the Articles of Confederation did not provide the United States with an effective government due to the lack of central power. Upon Independence,

financial problems troubled the Confederation government. During the American Revolutionary War for independence, Congress and the states had printed “good faith” paper currency. It became virtually worthless and was never redeemed. The structure of the Articles of Confederation allowed the Congress to request funds and borrow money but not lay taxes or collect tariffs. Congress had to either borrow funds from private suppliers or tax the states to finance reconstruction after the war. Unable to tax without the approval of all 13 states, Congress turned to a wealthy, self-made Philiadelphia merchant, Robert Morris, who in 1781 became the nation’s superintendant of finance. Morris proposed that the states authorize the collection of a nationalimport duty of 5 percent to

finance the congression budget and to guarantee interest payments on the war debt. In (Doc. A) a letter from the Rhode Island Assembly to Congress on (Nov. 30, 1782), Rhode Island explains the rejection of Morris’s proposal of the collection for a national import duty. Rhode Island stated that it was unequal and against the constitution. Because all 13 states had to agree, the proposal was thrown out and was not inforced. Morris and Alexander Hamilton devised a dangerous plot called the Newburgh Conspiracy in order to relieve the panic. In 1783, (Doc C) the two men secretly persuaded some army officers to threaten a coupd’etat unless the treasury obtained the taxation authority needed to raise their pay. A letter from Delegate Joseph Jones to George Washington suggests the

immediate pay to the soilder by enforcing tariffs and taxation. George Washington blocked this threatened military coup aimed at strengthening the central government and guaranteeing back pay and pensions to officers as the war came close. These events proved the Confederation was weak and unable to control financial problems. Diplomatic problems multiplied after the war. Congress was unable to comply states to repay prewar debts to British citizens and allow Loyalists to recover confiscated property. European governments closed off nearly all American trade with the colonies. According to statistics of exports and population(Doc. B), after the Declaration of Independence, the profit of exports to Britain steadily declined. This shows that the export trade to Britain was

declining. Britain took away the rights of the United States to trade with the British colonies, yet Britain goods were still flooding in the United States.This, in return caused an economic depression within the colonies. Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay negotiated many treaties with Spain, Britain, and other European countries, but it was blocked by Congress. In John Jay’s Instructions to the United States Minister to Great Britain (Doc. D, March 7, 1785), Jay insists that the British remove themselves from the United States. The British still remained in the United States even after the war. Western land claims were a long source of dispute between the states and european nations. Seven states had huge western land based on colonial charters(Doc. E), while six other