Essay Articles Confederation Weaknesses

Foreign courts needed to have American grievances laid before them persuasively in a "manifesto" which could also reassure them that the Americans would be reliable trading partners.

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To further complicate work on the constitution, Congress was forced to leave Philadelphia twice, for Baltimore, Maryland in the winter of 1776, and later for Lancaster then York, Pennsylvania in the fall of 1777, to evade advancing British troops. The final draft of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was completed on November 15, 1777.

Consensus was achieved by: including language guaranteeing that each state retained its sovereignty, leaving the matter of western land claims in the hands of the individual states, including language stating that votes in Congress would be en bloc by state, and establishing a unicameral legislature with limited and clearly delineated powers.

Their hope was to create a stronger national government.

Initially, some states met to deal with their trade and economic problems.

As the Confederation Congress attempted to govern the continually growing American states, delegates discovered that the limitations placed upon the central government rendered it ineffective at doing so.

As the government's weaknesses became apparent, especially after Shays' Rebellion, some prominent political thinkers in the fledgling nation began asking for changes to the Articles.The committee met frequently, and chairman John Dickinson presented their results to the Congress on July 12, 1776.Afterward, there were long debates on such issues as state sovereignty, the exact powers to be given to Congress, whether to have a judiciary, western land claims and voting procedures.Over the next two decades, some of the basic concepts it addressed would strengthen; others would weaken, especially in the degree of loyalty (or lack thereof) owed the Crown.Civil disobedience resulted in coercive and quelling measures, such as the passage of what the colonials referred to as the intolerable acts in the English Parliament, and armed skirmishes which resulted in dissidents being proclaimed rebels.Little changed politically once the Articles of Confederation went into effect, as ratification did little more than legalize what the Continental Congress had been doing.That body was renamed the Congress of the Confederation; but most Americans continued to call it the Continental Congress, since its organization remained the same.On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee introduced a resolution before the Continental Congress declaring the colonies independent; at the same time he also urged Congress to resolve "to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances" and to prepare a plan of confederation for the newly independent states.Congress then created three overlapping committees to draft the Declaration, a Model Treaty, and the Articles of Confederation.The document provided clearly written rules for how the states' "league of friendship" would be organized.During the ratification process, the Congress looked to the Articles for guidance as it conducted business, directing the war effort, conducting diplomacy with foreign nations, addressing territorial issues and dealing with Native American relations.


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