Ineffective Government Created by the Articles of Confederation

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My argument is that the Articles used a centralized system in the US. This system was inefficient and caused many protests and controversies between the states. Although our modern government isn’t perfect, we learned a lot from the government under the Articles of Confederation. There will always be flaws in government, but what is so great about our country is that we are able to adapt and change over time, thus creating the most effective government we can.

The Articles of Confederation created an ineffective government because they were unable to provide economic policies including taxes, a military, and difficulty passing and amending laws.

Supporting Point 1 Under the Articles of Confederation, the taxes were left for the individual states to decide. Resulting from this, states taxes were not equal. This caused numerous protests. If the government had the ability to regulate state taxes, then a lot of the commotion could have been avoided. Compared to the other states, Massachusetts had very high taxes. This caused many farmers to speak out against and protest. This helped cause the Shay Rebellion, as well. The Articles didn’t allow the government to regulate the state taxes. Each state had the decision of how high or low to set the taxes. Therefore, the Article of Confederation created major conflicts between the states and colonists.

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Supporting Point 2 Congress was unable to enforce the laws which required a state-funded military. Due to this, the states were unprepared and unable to protect themselves. This was shown in protests, one of those being the Shay Rebellion. At the time of the Shay Rebellion, Congress wasn’t able to stop the growing protests quickly enough, due to the lack of militia. They were unsuccessful in stopping the protesters. The Articles of Confederation kept the states from enforcing their own military laws. Therefore, this gave them a great disadvantage when the time came where they needed to act quickly.

Supporting Point 3 Under the Articles of Confederation, it was difficult to pass and amend laws. If there was an issue, nobody was available to solve it. They had no way to enforce the laws across the nation. Since the states had their own laws, it was easier to enforce them within their own states. This gave the states more individual power because the national government didn’t have a way to make or enforce official laws. All of the states had to agree to pass a new law, but being as there are 13 states, most of them would not agree with one another. Also, the bigger states believed that they should have more power, while the smaller states believed that every state should be equal.

If someone were to be charged with a crime, the state officials would be the ones with complete jurisdiction over his crime. This could mean that some states were more just than others with their rulings. Since there was no central government controlling the state courts, then their justice systems would not be equal.

The government’s inability to create and enforce laws and control the nation shows how the Articles created an ineffective government. Therefore, leading to a lot of separation conflicts between the individual states.

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Ineffective Government Created by the Articles of Confederation. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
“Ineffective Government Created by the Articles of Confederation.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
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