Historical Essay

Historical Essay #1 Confederation and Constitution
Christine Huard
Devry University
SUMA11 Sec C
Summer Semester 201

The Articles of Confederation and Constitution
The United States has been run under two constitutions since its existence. It was first operated under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation were adopted on November 15, 1777, but did not become effective until March 1, 1781(Burke). One achievement, of the Articles was the Northwest Ordinance. This ordinance was passed in 1787 and allowed the settlement of the area north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River (Ushistory.org). The Articles were a stepping stone which led to the Constitution however the Articles contained more weaknesses than strengths which forced the colonists to get rid of them and create a new document.
In order for the country to function as a whole, each state had to have some things in common, and under the Articles of Confederation the states were given to too much freedom and refused to cooperate with one another. Weaknesses that the Articles of Confederation had were the limits on collecting taxes. Since Congress could only request funds from the States, and not levy taxes, it was unable to pay war-related debts (Burke). Without the power to regulate trade, it could not negotiate commercial treaties (Burke). Unfortunately, the Articles of Confederation were nearly impossible to amend. The Articles failed to mention currency, trade and each state was acting as its own country and there was no way to unify the nation (Schultz, K., p.116).   The executive branch in the branch of government that executes the laws, and without this branch there was no way to make sure that the states followed the laws of the nation (Ushistory.org). With no central government to regulate what each state was doing, every state was different. Since there was no consistency in regulating the levels of taxes and inflation it was difficult to establish transport...