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The Articles of confederation were ratified in 1781 and became the first constitution if the United States of America. It provided a strong national government to make all states a single nation. The articles created a firm league of friendship, the articles had a national congress which consisted of two to seven delegates. The delegates were from each state and were in charge of foreign relations declaring war, peace, army and navy matters, issues, directives and to pass laws. The only problem was they could not enforce them.

The articles denied congress the power of taxation a serious oversight in time of war. The national government could obtain funds only by asking states for contributions called requisitions, but if a state failed to cooperate which many did, congress went about everything with no financial support.

Two good bits of legislation came out of the loose knit confederation. The first was the land ordinance of 1785. It set up the way land was owned by the federal government. That in which was basically the territory won from Britain that wasn’t claimed by one of the states, and could be divided and sold. It called for townships to be divided into one square mile, or 640 acres, and sold at a public auction. Part of the revenue went to the establishment of public schools.

The second was called the Northwest ordinance, in 1787. It stated that as new states were admitted to the country, they would be equal in every way to the original thirteen. It also banned slavery in the new territories, although this was later to be changed. Both laws were good starts to stabilizing the new country. But ongoing troubles in trying to regulate commerce between the states and in trying to raise money for the federal government still plagued the nation, especially since every state had its own currency and assigned it its own value. All in all, I feel that the articles of confederation was made to give the people more of an authority over the government and it was an attempt to let the people make their own rules, different from Britain.

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