This was also known as the Article of confederation which was an agreement between thirteen US states and it also acted as the first American constitution. The article had given powers to the Continental Congress to direct the internal and external affairs of the newly formed United State. It was until the end of American Revolution that the independent United States wanted a kind of control that would create a united country. However, issues arose on how the unified country will be governed effectively and the way government to be formed would protect the individual’s human rights.
All these issues led to establishment of Articles of Confederation in 1777 and lasted until 1787 serving for at least ten years. In order to fight common challenges affecting the thirteen states such as foreign affair issues, they decided to come up with a confederation known as League of Friendship designed to form a long lasting solution. Even after all this efforts the article was confirmed as a failure since it didn’t deliver an everlasting union to the states as it was promised in the article 1. (Gary 134)
The article created slack independent states giving limited powers to the overall central government, the major weakness with this part of the article was that each state possessed a single vote in the house of representative with regardless to the population the state has. Also the article failed to provide executive branch and independent judiciary system which could have strengthened the unity amongst the states. As the Article 1 of the confederation states “The Stile of this Confederacy shall be The United States of America” (Oates 257) this could not be achieved with a weak centralized system of government.
Although, the Congress had been delegated responsibilities to handle foreign affairs, declare war or peace and even sustaining army and navy it experienced unlimited challenges while implementing delegated duties simply because it was denied powers to collect taxes and power to regulate commerce within the states resulting to the situation whereby the central government had to beg for donations from individual states to finance its operations. (Gary 312)
According to the Article III of the Confederation “The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare.” This was not possible to be implemented by the central government for its financial constrains that it suffered from. The article failed when it allowed the independence of the individual states, which made difficult to access control of major departments such as revenue collection and only given powers to regulate common security of the United States.
Another significant challenge to AoC was that Congress had been denied powers to form and come up with its army which could play a major role in article III of defending its people and providing security of their liberty, (O’Connor 98). This was as a result of states volunteering their army men at will; if they come up with a final decision of not providing their army the central government had no power over those states to provoke their identity.
By so doing it was established that the country was risking its security hence emerged a need to revise the document with immediate effects. Despite the fact that the document ruled for ten years the American people really yarned for a centralized government which will execute Executive powers, provide fair ruling through a common judiciary and serve the interest of the majority.
Gary, Nash, and Julie Roy Jeffrey. The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society. Longman publishers. 2007. Print.
Oates, Stephen. To Purge This Land with Blood: A Biography of John Brown. Amherst. The University of Massachusetts Press, 2004. Print.
O’Connor, Thomas. Lords of the Loom: The Cotton Whigs and the Coming of the Civil War. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. Print.