Essay on Articles of Confederation Remedied by The Constitution

1722 Words 7 Pages
The year of 1776 was a time of revolution, independence, and patriotism. American colonists had severed their umbilical cord to the Mother Country and declared themselves “Free and Independent States”.1 The chains of monarchy had been thrown off and a new government was formed. Shying away from a totalitarian government, the Second Continental Congress drafted a document called the Articles of Confederation which established a loose union of the states. It was an attempt at self-government that ended in failure. The Articles of Confederation had many defects which included a weak central government that lacked the power to tax, regulate trade, required equal representation and a unanimous vote to amend the Articles, and had only a …show more content…
The Articles of Confederation ensured that “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” Because of the sovereignty granted to them, states were able to erect protectionist trade barriers between other states. In other words, a state could heavily tax a commodity that was coming from outside the state while it would not tax that same commodity produced within the state. This made it difficult for outside states to compete with local producers. Alexander Hamilton noted that “The interfering and unneighborly regulations of some States... [were] contrary to the true spirit of the union.”4 Another problem was that the national government could not place a tariff on imported goods. This made it hard for Americans to compete with the prices of foreign traders. The Constitution fixed this by saying “The Congress shall have Power to Regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States...”5 States, regardless of population, had equal representation in Congress under the Articles of Confederation. They each received one vote.6 This was done in part because smaller states like Delaware hoped to protect their state's rights.7 They feared that large states like
Open Document