Why did the Articles of Confederation fail
The Articles of Confederation founded the first government structure of the United States. After its adoption in 1777, the Articles brought together thirteen independent states to form a single country that would be authoritative enough to defeat the Great Britain. The Articles of Confederation lasted for eight years and failed due to various reasons.
The Articles created a weak central government. The inception of the United States was to bring together the thirteen states to work together as one nation. However, the states feared the control of a central authority and felt the United States was too large to be governed centrally. Thus, it created a weak national government that had to rely on the Congress for financial resources. Additionally, it had no authority to make decisions on behalf of the country neither mobilize the army to protect the country.
The Articles lacked a central judiciary. It failed to ease the judicial process by introducing national courts consequently, the country had to rely on each state’s justice system and decisions. Lack of a centralized judiciary gave the states the liberty to overturn national decisions they were opposed to and overlook the laws set by the Congress. The country plugged into public relations predicaments. Failure by the Articles to create the position of a president made it intricate for the country to engage other countries on foreign affairs matters as a single entity. Thus, this created difficulties with other nations, as they did not know whom to deal with, hence, resulting in the loss of opportunities for the country.
The Congress comprised of a single representative from each state. As a result, all states whether large or small received equal treatment. The rule disadvantaged the large states especially since they had a higher population and had more needs. Moreover, the smaller states would join and block any changes that would benefit the large states. Also, since the states had the most power, they had the autonomy to operate independently, even when it was unfavorable for the entire nation.
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The laws made it impossible to pass laws. The Articles provided that for the passing of a bill into law, nine out of the thirteen states had to approve. Putting such a high requirement made it difficult for the adoption of any legislation as the states rarely agreed with each other. The worst legislative provision by the Articles was its impossibility to amend. According to the Articles, for implementation of any alteration, a unanimous agreement by the Congress and the states was necessary. Considering the differences and oppositions the states shared with each other, amending the Articles was impossible.
The Articles barred the Congress from controlling trade. It provided the Congress with the power to regulate trade without infringing on the states’ mandate. The national government, contrary, could only ratify foreign treaties while the states could trade with other states and enforce restrictions if they deemed necessarily. The difference in the various governing levels limited coordination of the country, and the states resulting in economic disarray.
The country lacked a standardized currency. During the Confederation era, each state had a distinct currency that was different in appearance and value and uncontrollable by the national government or the Congress. The diversity of money among these states and other countries impede opportunities for business transactions as the many currencies rendered trade complicated and inefficient.
In conclusion, the Articles of Confederation created the primary governing system for the United States that would bring together thirteen states as one. However, it faced various challenges that resulted in its failure and eventually its abandoning. However, it created the way for the creation and adoption of the United States Constitution that corrected its inadequacies.