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Articles of Confederation Vs. Constitution

Essay by   •  March 17, 2011  •  Essay  •  403 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,843 Views

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The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, although both written documents explaining how the American government would be ran, they have very distinct qualities about them. During the Constitutional Convention, instead of revising the Articles of Confederation as originally planned, those attending the meeting felt that a whole new document needed to be written. Legislation, the sovereignty of states, and the executive branch were all major differences between the two documents.

Legislation was one of the biggest differences in the two documents. In the original Article of Confederation, each state received one vote regardless of size. This angered many of the more populous states because they felt that it was unfair that smaller states would get just as much say in the legislature as they would, even though larger states had more people. The smaller states however felt that this made things more equal because had the number of votes been based on population, then larger states would band together to get laws that they wanted, passed. In the Constitution, a compromise had been made. The congress had now been made up of two houses, the senate that would have equal representation, and the House of Representatives that would be based on population. In order to amend the Articles of Confederation 13 of the 13 colonies needed to agree, but in order to make amendments on the Constitution, 2/3 of Congress and Ñ* of state legislature had to agree.

In the Articles of Confederation, sovereignty remained within states. Each state generally governed them selves, and could pass their own laws. Under the Constitution, there was generally a greater sense of unity. The constitution was the supreme law and it was to be fallowed by all colonies.

Unlike the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution had a greater sense of central government. In the Constitution a president was the executive. The president was the commander in chief of the armed forces and checked the powers of both the legislative and judiciary branches of government. In order for laws to be passed, the president's approval was required, even if the majority vote was for the law.

Overall, the Constitution was a more sophisticated document than the Articles of Confederation. It created a bit more equality as far as congress was concerned and even though at first it wasn't welcomed by many, it allowed for greater opportunity of amendment than the Articles



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