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Articles of Confederation with the New Constitution of 1787

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Historical Essay #1

 Compare and contrast the Articles of Confederation with the new Constitution of 1787. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Articles vis-à-vis the Constitution? Give specific instances that demonstrate the weakness of the Articles (such as the Western problem).

The article of Confederation is a written document that states the functions of the national government of the United States. This was after it declared independence from Great Britain. The Articles established the United States as a republic, a government in which citizens rule through elected representatives.

 The Articles of Confederation were the original binding documents of the United States and served as the supreme law of the land from 1781 until the ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787. They were written to describe the powers that the national Congress was given from the states. It defined the powers of the Continental Congress and provided for a weak federation of autonomous states. Americans of the time were generally opposed to a stable central government, which they feared would lead to despotism, and the Articles delegated most significant powers to the individual states. The Congress was granted power only over foreign policy, war, and setting standards. It had no control over trade, could not directly tax the people, could not enforce laws, and could not compel states to cooperate with one another. As such, the early United States was more similar to an alliance of 13 independent countries than to the federal state of modern times.

The Articles created a loose confederation of sovereign states and a weak central government, leaving most of the power with the state governments. The need for a stronger Federal government soon became apparent and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

The US Constitution was drafted as the Articles of Confederation, which preceded it, didn't live up to the expectations. While the states were happy with the Articles, as it put them in command with the national government having no enforcing authority whatsoever, it resulted in chaos, with each state coming up with its own laws. A strong push was required to bring the state of affairs back on the track, and that came with the US Constitution, which has definitely lived up to the expectations.

The debated Articles of the confederation was discussed as it was a way that weakens the constitution created by the Confederation Congress which did not empower the new central government to tax Americans. Articles of Confederation gave power vested in the States and granted very little ability to the Continental Congress. Even with the adoption of the United States Constitution, we will learn that the South will use the idea of States Rights to nullify Federal legislation during the 1830-1840's.

A brewing  nation towards conflict. The South argued that after all, it was the States that had created the Constitution and Federal government and then ratified it. 

The beauty of the Constitution is that it outlines powers reserved for the Federal government versus powers for individual state governments. There are also a few shred powers too. It would be interesting to construct a Venn diagram outlining the similarities, differences and shared powers between the Federal and State governments

The Articles of Confederation, and so-called- Westen Problem was that the states without such claims argued that the western lands should be owned by the national government. The states with land claims were reluctant to give up their claims. When Virginia finally gave up most of its claims to western lands, the Articles of Confederation were adopted. The Articles of Confederation created a union of sovereign states.

 Analyze the drafting of the Constitution, using specific details to show how the various states (slave vs. free, east vs. west) compromised in order to effectively draft a constitution. Pay particular attention to Roger Sherman's plan, the Great Compromise, which broke a stalemate that could have been fatal to the development of the new Constitution.

The years 1829-1837 president Andrew Jackson was in office, and he represented a new kind of politics, which was known as the politics of the “common man.” During president Jackson’s term, the modifications and growth of the American economy prospered to  industrialized North  at the expense of the South. ( Week 3 lesson) Jackson revived the ideals of Jeffersonian Democrats – strong states and a weak federal government that would not interfere in slavery

The United States experienced extraordinary economic growth and change in the first half of the nineteenth century. But the economies of the Northern and Southern regions of the nation evolved along different paths. The North developed a free labor economy marked by industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. Economic growth was spurred by new technologies that made agriculture more productive and factories more efficient, as well as by improvements in transportation and communication that spurred consumer demand for the latest goods. By contrast, while the South experienced some industrialization and urban growth, most of its expansion and development focused on raising cash crops with slave labor. The enormous profits generated by cotton cultivation prompted the expansion of plantations into the so-called Black Belt that stretched from Alabama west to east Texas.

Although North and South had developed different labor systems, each was tied to the expanding market economy that Henry Clay praised in 1824. The expansion of the market economy transformed the countryside in both the North and South and fueled urban growth.

Market-oriented farming, with its emphasis on efficiency and profit, also transformed social values and communal patterns of life

Finally, compare and contrast the debate over ratification between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.

Make sure you cite specific examples from the Federalist Papers to support the Federalist position and contrast it with leading proponents of the opposition (such as John Hancock). Analyze how the debate over a bill of rights illustrates the differences between the two parties. Evaluate the relative success of the Bill of Rights in achieving an effective balance between national and states' interests.

The Article of Confederation  led to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 which pointed the new national government to be different form these beginnings of governance by the  Articles of Confederation. These Articles, formally known as the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 original states of the United States of America that served as its first as an informal  alliance between the 13 Original Colonies during the war against Great Britan. Under the Articles of Confederation, each Original Colonies, later known as states,  could make laws that were needed to govern and fitted to  each individual Colonies’ territory, based on the current issues, environment, trade, and culture. The Articles of Confederation proved workable during the war for independence. Once the  war  was over for the Colonist to be independent of the monarchy  jurisdiction  that came from Great Britain. America had to start from scratch a formed, organized Government. The new sovereign Nation had to have a Central government to maintain governance over the land  and assure the laws would be carried out with complete unified alliance and accountability threw out the whole Nation.

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