The Articles of Confederation

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American'sfirst government, The Articles of Confederation, was completely ratified in 1781. Under the Articles of Confederation the central government was extremely weak. There was no chief executive, no power to levy taxes, and the federal government could not settle foreign affairs along with disputes between the states. These weaknesses failed to provide the United States with an effective government and money became an immense problem for the United States government.
Once they became a self-sufficient nation, they lost a lot of business through commerce. The value of United States exports dropped and the population increased (Document B). The government couldn’t receive money from taxes because the Articles of Confederation didn’t grant them the power to tax. Congress made an attempt to tax by asking the Rhode Island Assembly for permission to tax imported goods (Document A). The proposition was rejected and Congress could do nothing about it. Even though the government couldn’t tax, it still found ways to make money. Under the Land Ordinance in the Articles of Confederation, western states gave their excess land to the federal government (Document E). Since the United States economy was poor, the government sold the land and kept the profits. As a result there wasn;t enough money to pay off war debts and soldiers (Document C).
In addition, the government of the United States deliberately left out a central executive branch, making its already weak government further divided and lacking strong leadership. Due to the dearth of leadership, many rebellions occurred. One in particular was Shay;s Rebellion that arose in Massachusetts in 1786, spread to other states, and culminated in an abortive attack on a federal arsenal. It was a clash between New England farmers and merchants and threatened to plunge the disunited states into a civil war (Document G). Even though the Articles of Confederation created a weak g…