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Articles Of Confederation Essay, Research Paper

Analyze the degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective form of government with respect to foreign relations, economic conditions, and western lands.

The Articles of Confederation were a primitive version of the current Constitution of the United States. Back in the 1700’s all 13 states approved the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation served as the only way to keep the states unified. Though they were weak (most people were afraid of having a strong central government) they still helped in modeling the United States Constitution and helped in stabilizing the government.

Dealing with foreign affairs was left up to the individual states. Englanders joked that if they were to send one minister to America they would have to send thirteen. America was so unorganized that they rarely met and rarely added any articles to the Articles of Confederation because to do so took a unanimous vote. The individual states were too weak to defend themselves if there were to be a conflict and they wouldn’t have enough money to bribe others so they were as nice to Britain and France as possible. Lowering their tariffs on imports from England was their way to attract trade. The Articles of Confederation did nothing in the way of foreign affairs except to make other nations think that we had become strong and were organized.

The Articles of Confederation really didn’t do anything except keep the states from a state of anarchy and it helped in the organization of the most general areas of the government. The western lands were broken up into small plots of land and were auctioned off to help pay off the national debt. This Land Ordinance of 1785 was one of the few resultant legislatures from the Confederation. The government officials were trying to become more powerful through breaking up the land and auctioning it off. They would slowly mold the territories into states and then would become slightly more powerful through the money they received and the population they had control over. “If it had attempted to chain the new territories to permanent subordination, a second American Revolution almost certainly would have erupted in later years.” This is true because the people still had control over the weak confederation. The Articles of Confederation were really “all bark and no bite”.

Though the articles of confederation helped very little in controlling the citizens and helping to unify the states it at least let other nations know that the U.S. was becoming more powerful and had at least a little bit of organization. The degree to which the Articles of Confederation provided an effective was pretty much non-existent. The states really had to fend for themselves and only had the Articles of Confederation to look at as a skeleton of how their individual governments should be.


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