Question #0908a

1 Answer
Jan 9, 2017

The articles of confederation did not work.


The articles of conferation were based on a philosophy based on the Enlightenment ideas of Jean Jacques Rousseau.

The idea was that people were basically good and would do what was in the best interest of the larger community

The community of the 13 colonies had conflicting interests. Instead of what was doing what was in the best interests of the country as a whole, the different colonies did what was in the best interest in the individual colony and regional area.

Under the articles of confederation the central government had little ability to raise money. Trariffs on imported goods from foreign nations. This was supported by the northern states (colonies) that wanted protection from manufactured goods from other countries, and opposed by southern states that wanted to purchase goods at the lowest possible cost.
Voluntary contributions from the states to support the central government were slow in coming or never arrived.

There was no executive branch to take administrative action. This left the new nation without direction.

There was one legislative house, with equal representation from each state. However nine of the 13 states had to agree for any legislative bill to pass. Since most of the 13 states voted selfishly to support their own interests no significant legislation could be passed.

Muslim pirates in the Med. would capture American ships and demand ransom. The American government without money could not support a navy or army to protect American interests.

The states did not act in ways consistent with the vision of Rousseau and the Articles of Confederation. A new system of government had to devised that had a stronger central government. The new constitution was based on another Englightenment philosopher Baron Montequieu who said that Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The new constitution had three branches of government with checks and balances not trusting on the good will or character of the people.