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Articles of Confederation

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"From 1781 to 1789, the Articles of Confederation provided the United States with an effective government." Using the documents and your knowledge of the period, evaluate this statement.

The colonist, now with their independence needed a government to which they could use as an organizer for their new country. Eleven states drew up this document and Connecticut and Rhode Island revised all colonial charters. The Articles of Confederation was the document that was created. It was a loose union of states with a weak central government with no executive or judicial branch. The majority of the power rested in the hands of the state governments. The Confederation was inadequate in that it failed to create a well developed central government. The reason for the central government being so weak was that the colonist did not want a powerful central power like they had under George III. Other weaknesses included that the government could not issue taxes. The structure of the Articles of Confederation allowed Congress to request funds and borrow money but not impose taxes or collect tariffs. Congress had to either borrow funds from private suppliers or tax the states to finance the post-war reconstruction.

In statistical terms, in agreement to Document B , as the population grew pre-

American Revolutionary war in the United States, so did its estimated market value of

U.S. exports to Great Britain, with the exception being the years 1772-1774, when

population growth was extremely slow. After the war, the U.S. economy was shaky

with the adoption of the Articles. For example, even after a quite extensive population

growth in 1786 from 1785, the market value dropped about $775.00. Back then, Congress as well as the American economy needed every penny it could get to repay war debts.

In the year 1775, when America was still under British supervision and rule, the market was at its peak. In 1776 the market took a dive once under American control. That proves that the American leaders initially did not have a clue on how to run a successful country with the rules, jurisdictions, and policies of the Articles of Confederation.

From the year 1781 to 1789, I am without doubt certain that the Articles

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