Articles of Confederation

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Submitted By alboredguy
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In 1787-1788, a great debate on whether to approve the Constitution or to reject it absorbed the energies of many Americans, with Federalists arguing in favor and Antifederalists against. Which side of the debate would you have supported had you been present at the time? Why?

The Articles of Confederation provided an inadequate government because of various financial, diplomatic, and social problems that the weak system could not handle. Merchants and planters who depended on the English market were hit hard when an American victory cut ties with England. Staple crops such as rice were no longer in high demand, nor were other products such as fish. England did nothing to ease the impact of these problems; the sale of American farm products were banned in the West Indies ad the rights of American vessels to carry goods to and from the Caribbean were restricted. To finance the war, the Continental Congress had printed more than $240 million in paper money that was backed by “good faith” rather than by hard currency such as gold or silver. The value of this paper currency diminished as doubts that they could ever pay the sum in return rose. The government was unsuccessful when trying to raise money as well; because of the necessary unanimous approval to pass tariffs, the government could not place tariffs on goods because states declined. The Confederation’s diplomatic record was as discouraging as its financial plight. Although the British agrees to evacuate their western forts in the Treaty of Paris, they refused to take any action until the Americans honored their end of the treaty and repaid war debts and returned loyalists’ confiscated properties. A new document was created to replace The Articles of Confederation in 1787. The Constitution used a system of checks and balances to deal with the distribution of power throughout the government. The constitution had…...

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