Having won the Revolutionary war and negotiated a good peace settlement, the Americans still required to determine stable governments. Between 1776 and 1789, a lot of efforts took place to appreciate the nation’s Republican ideals. New state governments set to established in most states, increasing selection and workplace holding rights. Lawmakers let voters decide that churches support with their tax monies. Many states adopted bills of rights guaranteeing freedom of speech, assembly, and therefore the press, similarly as trial by jury. Western lands began to open for settlement. Educational opportunities for ladies accumulated. Concern for the new nation’s political stability led leaders to draft a replacement US constitution in 1787, that puzzled out compromises between big and tiny states and between northern and southern states.
After the first split with Britain, Americans wanted their government to not resemble Britain’s at all. Thus, they did this by adopting the Articles of Confederation that had no national executive branch. However, because of the government under the Articles had virtually no power because it couldn’t raise money through taxes. People who led the national government realized that a more centralized government have to be needed. As the constitution was written and it was in the process of being ratified by all the states, the federalist papers written mostly by Alexander Hamilton materialized. In one paper by James Madison, he showed the concept of checks and balances that could be used to keep the national government in line and not get out of control. He wrote:
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition
After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the 13 American colonies needed a government to replace the British system they were attempting to overthrow. By 1777 members of Congress realized that they ought to have some clearly written rules. Consequently, the articles of confederation drafted up and passed by the Congress in November 1777. This first national “constitution” for the United States happened not particularly innovative and mostly put into written form how the Congress had operated since 1775. Although the Articles were rather modest in their proposals, they would not be ratified by all the states until 1781. Even this came about to accomplished mostly as a result of the hazards of war demanded greater cooperation.
Purpose of the Government
The Congress had power over diplomacy, printing money, resolving controversies between different states. Most importantly, coordinating the war effort. The most critical action of the Continental Congress was probably the creation and maintenance of the Continental Army. Unlikely, Congress could call on states to contribute specific resources and numbers of men for the army. Moreover, it did not allow to force states to obey the central government’s request for aid.
Articles of Confederation
The inherent weakness of the Articles of Confederation stemmed from the fact that it called for Confederacy, which placed sovereign power in the hands of the states. Article II stated,
each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the united states, in congress assembled.
This distribution of power settled on by the founding fathers because American colonists were cautious of strong national governments. Having dealt with the British Crown for so many years, the American colonists did not want to create yet another out-of-touch national government. Furthermore, Americans identified most strongly with their individual colony, so it seemed natural to construct an American government based on powerful state governments.
During its short lifespan, the Articles of Confederation became increasingly ineffective at governing the continually growing Amercian states. The main cause of this ineffectiveness stemmed from a lack of strong, central government. From the absence of a powerful national government emerged a series of limitations that furnished the Articles of Confederation pointless.!