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Problems With The Articles Of Confederation That Were Addressed By The Constitution And The Importance Of The Issue Of Power Centralization In American Politics Today

1643 words - 7 pages

Since the birth of the United States, the issue over how strong the national government should be has always been a controversial one. While some believe that decentralization will inevitably lead to chaos, others contend that a powerful central government will inevitably become a tyranny. Although the United States would wholeheartedly embrace the idea of a loose alliance of independent states at first, the many glaring problems that the nation faced under the Articles of Confederation would quickly change the minds of many Americans. Indeed, the nation's confederal system of government was eventually rejected and replaced by federalism, a political philosophy that calls for a sharing of ...view middle of the document...

After only a few years under the Articles of Confederation, however, it became apparent that the confederal system that the Americans had adopted had many serious problems. These problems would soon cause the nation to spiral into pandemonium. It quickly became clear to the leaders of the United States that a more powerful national government would be needed if their newly founded nation was to survive. Supporters of a strong federal government met in Philadelphia, where they would draft the Constitution, a groundbreaking document that introduced the policy of federalism, which called for equally powerful national and state governments that would be able to cooperate with each other and check each others' power. After several months of heated debate, the leaders of every state would ratify the Constitution and agree to make the Constitution the most important legal document in the country. The Constitution was able to solve many of the problems that came with decentralization. For example, disputes between different states over issues such as trade often crippled the nation before the ratification of the Constitution. States did everything in their power to make their rival states suffer economically and politically and there was absolutely nothing that the ineffective central government could do about it. After the Constitution was adopted, disputes between different states would never be able to escalate out of control again due to the fact that the Constitution grants the national government the power to settle conflicts between states. In addition, the Constitution addressed the economic issues that the United States was dealing with. After the expensive Revolutionary War, the United States was left with many debts to pay off. According to the Articles of Confederation, however, states did not have to give any money to the federal government. Because of its lack of taxing power, the national government had no means by which to earn revenue or pay off its debts. Inflation also soared due to the fact that each individual state could print its own currency whenever it saw fit. The Constitution, however, would be able to solve all of these economic problems by granting Congress the right to tax the states and by allowing only the federal government to print and control the circulation of money. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, the Constitution was able to ensure that the nation would always be safe from outside forces and internal forces. While the United States had a confederal system of government, a lack of security was a frightening reality. The state governments did not have to provide the central government with any soldiers and most of the state militias were extremely inadequate. This lack of preparedness became evident during Shays' Rebellion, an uprising of farmers from western Massachusetts who attacked courthouses in Massachusetts in order to prevent judges from taking their land away from them. The rebellion was eventually...

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