The Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781 to provide the United States
with an effective government after the revolution.It had many weaknesses and was
replaced by the United States Constitution in 1789.Under the Articles of Confederation
the central government was extremely weak.There was no chief executive, no judicial
branch, no power of enforcement, no power to tax, and the federal government could not
settle disputes between the states.These weaknesses failed to provide the United States
Money became an immense problem for the United States government.Once they
became a self-sufficient nation, they lost a lot of business through commerce.The value of
United States exports dropped and the population increased (Document B).The
government couldn’t receive money from taxes because the Articles of Confederation didn’t
grant them the power to tax.Congress made an attempt to tax by asking the Rhode Island
Assembly for permission to tax imported goods (Document A).The proposition was
rejected and Congress could do nothing about it.
Even though the government couldn’t tax, it still found ways to make money.
Under the Land Ordinance in the Articles of Confederation, western states gave their
excess land to the federal government (Document E).The government then sold the land
Since the United States economy was obviously suffering, the military suffered as
well.Soldiers grew unhappy when they didn’t receive their pay from the government
(Document C).This could have led to poor military service, less soldiers joining the army,
or a complete collapse of the United States military force.
Another sign of the weakness of the Articles of Confederation is the actions taken
by other countries.When King George III signed the Treaty of Paris, he agreed to