Essay about Why the Articles of Confederation Failed

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The Articles of Confederation, ratified March 1, 1781, were the first attempt at organized government in America. The individual states were given too much power, while the power of the central government was very minimal, leading to the near demise of the young country. An anonymous writer in the Norwich Packet proclaimed in 1786, “Each State at present possesses powers so totally independent of the others, that no general system can be adopted. They begin to find that a government with so many heads is a monster in politics” (Humphrey 2003, 109). Rather than working together as a nation for a common cause, states were working against each other. There was no revenue source from the states, and under the Articles of Confederation, there…show more content…
During the eight years under the Articles of Confederation, the national debt continued to grow. The country came up with solutions, but the states ignored them. A correspondent in the Independent Chronicle in 1787 plead, “How long are we to continue on our present in-glorious acquiescence in the shameful resistance that some of the states persist in, against federal and national measures?” (Humphrey 2003, 113). Printer Nathaniel Willis called the young country a “union in crisis” (Humprey 2003, 106). Lack of revenue and no way of forcing states to contribute was one of the major and most noted flaws in the Articles of Confederation (Henretta et al. 2010). A second major flaw in the Articles of Confederation, which tied directly into the first in many ways, was a government of separate states rather than a nation of states with one strong central government. The weak central government could not coordinate the actions of the states. Individual states began to create and enforce their own policies, and the weak nation had no way stop it, even if the policies were damaging. For example, the southern state of Georgia took the handling of their neighbor, Spanish occupied Florida, in to their own hands. Georgia went as far as threats of war, and occupying wherever they pleased in a territory that did not belong to America. Many states chose to ignore the 1783 Treaty of Paris. This angered the
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