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The Weakness of the Articles of Confederation Nano-Historical Essay

Stephen Lupo

History 151

19 March 2017
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Stephen Lupo

Professor Kimberly Lark

History 151

19 March 2017

The Weakness of the Articles of Confederation Nano-Historical Essay

The weakness of the Articles of Confederation made a gigantic effect on the political and

societal impact from the American Revolution. The Articles of Confederation were noted as the

first constitution of the United States as a whole. Because this was the United States first attempt

at a constitution, there was bound to be some sort of problems within it. The problems and

weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation lay within the lack of congressional power, the lack

of an executive leader, and a lack of decision making.

Among the Articles of Confederation, there was a lack of power in Congress making a

problem in enforcing laws. The main cause of this was there was no executive branch or judicial

branch of government to enforce any laws created (Articles of Confederation: Strengths 1).

Congress was also unable to have any control within the tax system. This meant that Congress

was not allowed to impose taxes, but only borrow on the basis of credit (Articles of

Confederation 1). Another few things that Congress was not given the correct power to do, was

regulate trade in the United States and have the same currency within every state (History.com

Staff 1). Congress was not able to regulate trade meaning it was unable to negotiate trade

agreements with any foreign country by any means. Also, because of the Articles of

Confederation, each state was given its own brand of currency making trade and moving

between states extremely difficult (Brackemyre 1). In addition to Congress not being given

enough power, the articles were weak through their lack of executive power.

Within the Articles of Confederation, there was no executive leader to take charge and
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enforce any of the laws created by Congress (Articles of Confederation 1). This was extremely

bad because it inevitably made Congress useless and gave way too much power to every state

(Brackemyre 1). However, if an executive leader was set in place there would have been no

problem. In addition to no executive leader, there was also no judicial branch. The judicial

branch was vital in interpreting the laws established from the Articles of Confederation and

Congressional law. Not only was the Articles of Confederation weak in the aspects of Congress

not having much power and the lack of an executive leader, but also in the aspect of the lack in

making decisions.

The Articles of Confederation made it extremely difficult to make decisions in the form

of an amendment. For example, it required nine of the thirteen states to pass a law for Congress

to create the law (Articles of Confederation 1). This made it almost impossible for any law to

pass (Articles of Confederation: Strength 1). Also, states were only given one vote no matter

their population. This made passing laws even harder (Articles of Confederation 1). Overall,

the Articles of Confederation made decisions in congress and amendments almost impossible due

to the strict rules given to decision making. This made the articles extremely weak and lead

directly to its demise.

The Articles of Confederation that were created after the American Revolution had many

weaknesses including its lack of power in Congress, its lack of executive order, and its lack of

decisiveness. The lack of power within Congress made laws possible but rare due to the lengthy

process and deficiency in enforcement. Also, once Congress was even able to make a law the

lack of executive order made enforcement non-existent. Lastly, decisions dealing with

amendments were very uncommon because for any decision to be made almost all of the states

had to be on board making decisions rare. All-in-all, the Articles of Confederation were
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extremely weak and did not last very long before they were destroyed and replaced within the

coming years.
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Works Cited/ Citations

"Articles of Confederation." U.S. Constitution A to Z (n.d.): n. pag. www.ewing.k12.nj.us.

Ewing. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

"Articles of Confederation: Strengths & Weaknesses - Video & Lesson Transcript." Study.com.

Study.com, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Brackemyre, Ted, Alexandra E. Stern, Ryan Engelman, Gina Halabi, Rhae Lynn Barnes, and

Crystal Galyean. "America's First Failure at Government." US History Scene. U.S.

History Scene, n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

History.com Staff. "Articles of Confederation." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009.

Web. 17 Mar. 2017.