Dbq: Effectiveness of Articles of Confederation Essay

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Effectiveness of Articles of Confederation While the Articles of Confederation unified the American colonies for the first time, the individual states had a hard time allowing a central government to solely control their territory. Due to fear of an all powerful monarchy like the one they had experienced in England the colonies were wary of allowing a central government certain powers. These certain powers included control of commerce, ability to tax, and even the ability to act directly upon individual citizens of a state. While the Articles provided a loose confederation to unify the new country, they were only a temporary solution due to their obvious weaknesses in several areas. The Articles of Confederation were essentially…show more content…
(Doc. A) One would assume that commerce would increase after a war, due to friendlier relations with foreign countries and a growth in population. However while the population in the United States continued to grow after the revolution the exportation rates slowly evened out. (Doc. B) The statistics alone prove the ineffectiveness of Congress’ ability to control and improve American commerce.
Although Congress was granted the right to negotiate with foreign countries they were often ridiculed and not taken seriously. Clearly stated in the Treaty of Paris 1783, Britain was to evacuate all posts in America along with several other penalties. However, in John Jay’s letter to Great Britain, dated two whole years after the treaty had been signed, he was demanding that the British meet these regulations. (Doc. D) The British obviously did not perceive the Americans as a threat. Another example includes that of the negotiations, or lack thereof, with Spain. John Jay had met with a Spanish representative to discuss the territorial lines between the Spanish and Americans along with the use of the Mississippi. Spain refused to compromise stating that the Mississippi had been and would continue to be under their possession. (Doc. F) Both of these situations also highlight the confederations need for an army. With an army poised for battle, the Americans might have been seen as a small threat.

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