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As all historians and anybody who has studied the brief period between the end of the revolutionary war and the ratification of the constitution, there was total chaos. That chaos can be attributed to the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation were like the law book of the United States of America. The articles, however, were very weak. They needed to be replaced by a much better entity which, we now know, was the constitution of the United States. The Articles of Confederation had to be replaced because of all their inability to control trade, their inability to tax, and the disunity their decision-making process.
The biggest weakness the Articles of Confederation had was their inability to control the trade in the states, international and interstate. Trade is probably the most important thing for a country to survive. Controlling trade is essential for a country to survive. The Articles of Confederation could not do that. How could the country survive? The federal government could say to ban all items from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland but the states, usually it was the New England state of Rhode Island, could say no and the articles could not do anything about it. That also applied for interstate trade. If a ship crossed too far along the Potomac River or the Delaware River, you could be taxed for entering a different state. That was a horrible system were states were competing with each other for dominance and to get out of debt by hurting other’s economy with tariffs and taxes. Truly, the inability to control the trade in the nation and out of it made the Articles of Confederation a bad system that needed to be replaced.
Another reason why the Articles of Confederation were a truly horrid system was their inability to tax the people of the United States of America. The Articles of Confederation could not tax the people or the states. They could only ask for donations and only about twenty-five percent of their requests were fulfilled meaning they only got about twenty-five percent of what they needed. That was a horrible system since they couldn’t keep going. We were in debt to France in particular, but also to other countries. Since we were only making about twenty-five percent of what we needed, we could not even pay the interest on the loan which was horrible. We were digging ourselves deeper and deeper into debt and France got angry so they blocked their West Indies ports to us, crippling our economy even more than it was already failing from the treatment from the Spanish Empire and especially from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Clearly, the Articles of Confederation’s inability to tax destroyed the nation and kept making it worse and worse.
Lastly, another big reason why the Articles of Confederation needed to be replaced was due to their decision making. First, was how the Congress was set up. Every state got one vote. That would be fine if all states were the same size, but they are not. In that form of government Virginia’s six hundred and eighty thousand people had the same amount of power ar Rhode Island’s sixty-eight thousand. That is just simply unfair for all those people. Virginia and New York had the same amount of power as Rhode Island and Delaware. After that, to create a new law or to change an existing one, the Congress needed a complete agreement. All thirteen states had to agree. As you can clearly guess, nothing got done. Twelve states could agree on something but one, usually Rhode Island, could disagree and the law would not pass. Rhode Island would never agree with the rest. They were wild and so did whatever they wanted and nothing got done in the Congress of the United States. Truly, the Articles of Confederation needed to be replaced due to their inability to come to a decision due to bad decision-making rules.
The Articles of Confederation had to be replaced because of all their inability to control trade, their inability to tax, and the disunity their decision-making process. The inability to control the trade in the nation and out of it made the Articles of Confederation a bad system. The Articles of Confederation’s inability to tax destroyed the nation and kept making it worse and worse, and they needed to be replaced due to their inability to come to a decision due to bad decision-making rules. Very clearly, the Articles of Confederation was a horrible system that needed to be replaced quickly.
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