AP US History DBQ Articles of Confederation…

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An effective government is one that will responsibly carry out and defend the wishes and rights of the people, while keeping the country stable and strong. Between the years of 1781 and 1789 the Articles of Confederation failed to provide the United States with an effective government. The country was no in a stable state, economically, politically, or defensively. Under The Articles of Confederation the government could not levy taxes which added to a huge economic problem. The Articles also tried to limit the power of the central government and instead gave it to the states which turned out to be a completely unrealistic approach to creating a stable nation. However possibly the biggest weakness under The Articles of Confederation was the lack of defense.
The American economy decreased significantly when the Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781. (Doc B) This was because the Articles of Confederation did not grant the central government the power to regulate trade or tax. Instead taxation was left to the individual states. The states, having been granted power under The Articles of Confederation decided they would not pay. The citizens of the few states that did institute a tax to help pay the enormous debt of the war felt out of touch with their tax. Most did not know the current situation of the government nor did they care to and they did not know why they were being taxed. Instead they felt they were being taxed unfairly. This led to uprisings such as Shay's Rebellion which threatened the government severely. The government also lacked the power to regulate trade. To one proposed tariff, the Rhode Island Assembly to Congress responded (Doc. A), "[B]y granting to Congress a power to collect moneys from the commerce of these states…is repugnant to the liberty of the United States." Rhode Island felt that this tax was not in the interest of the people and it also thought