The Shortcomings of the Articles of Confederation

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The years following the American Revolution, better known as the Critical Period, were some of the most vulnerable moments in the extensive history of the United States. The Critical Period is infamous for a post-war recession, disorganization and competition of states, as well as a total lack of unity about the nation. The Articles of Confederation, ratified during the onset of this tumultuous period, added new dimension to early Americans’ idea of national government. The Articles formed a loosely united country under a highly restricted federal government. This apparent aversion of strong central government was rooted in the former colonists’ fear of a sequel to their monarchial horror that was England. Some believe that the Articles…show more content…
Five years earlier, in a letter from the Rhode Island Assembly to Congress the assembly concluded that taxation on imported goods creates inequality between the commercial and the agrarian societies of America (Document 1). The Rhode Island Assembly brings up the idea that state governments were allowed to tax freely without congressional regulation, while Congress posed to levy importation taxes—geared towards the Northern, more commercial part of America. This letter speaks to the injustices of taxation, and taxation was the main reason for Shays’s Rebellion. Shays’s Rebellion caused that unjust and disorganized means of taxation further exemplifies the failure that was the Articles of Confederation. The final reason why the Articles of Confederation created an ineffective government is inadequate foreign affairs. Prior to the revolution, the thirteen colonies were not united as they did not need to be—they were all there for the purpose and betterment of Great Britain. As the colonists won their independence, almost every state began producing a different type of currency, untracked and unregulated by the new federal government. This total disunity left the states in competition over exports with one another. This competition left the country as a whole weak, and other countries’ perception of us the same. In the table that compares the value of exports to Great Britain to the population of the nation displays
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