What Are the Articles of Confederation’s Three Weaknesses?

While the Articles of Confederation had a number of flaws, three in particular stand out: Congress had no taxing authority; there was no national court system; and every state, no matter its size, only had one vote in Congress.

The United States’ first governmental document with terms accepted by the 13 new states was the Articles of Confederation, which served as the country’s founding Constitution. The purpose of this document was to define the role of the national government following the country’s declaration of independence from Great Britain. .

It created a weak government and granted the states more authority. As a result, Congress lacked the authority to establish a robust federal government. The Articles of Confederation had a few flaws, like many early documents.

Even though the initial form of government only lasted for a little more than ten years, it provided the framework and the foundation for the system that exists today.

Congress lacked the authority to impose taxes. The lack of taxing authority assigned to Congress was one of the main problems with the Articles of Confederation. It was dependent on states voluntarily choosing to contribute money to the federal government, which many did not.

Furthermore, because there was no executive branch to carry out any legislation established by Congress, states did not comply with federal laws or pay attention to notices about taxes.

No national judicial system The absence of a federal judicial system created significant problems for both the federal government and the residents of the states. States might disregard any acts or decrees without worrying about repercussions because the government lacked the means to enforce laws.

Additionally, there was no place or procedure in place for residents to file a lawsuit if they had a gripe with the federal government. The Articles of Confederation established separate judicial branches for every state.

States only had one vote in the Congress. Each state was given a single congressional vote under the Articles of Confederation. The population or size of each state were not taken into consideration. States with big populations were therefore overrepresented compared to states with small populations.

Virginia shared the same one congressional vote with the other states despite having a population more than ten times Delaware’s and twice that of the rest of the country combined. Essentially, residents of smaller states have a bigger and more significant say than residents of larger states.

Taking Care of the Articles of Confederation’s Issues Although the Articles of Confederation were written in 1777, it wasn’t until all 13 states accepted them in 1781 that they came into force. It should not be surprising that the Articles of Confederation failed after only eight years as the aforementioned issues were just a few of the early political system’s flaws.

At the Annapolis Convention in 1786, officials came together to debate the Articles of Confederation’s flaws and other problems since the government wasn’t functioning properly. The United States Constitution was eventually written and ratified in 1787, and George Washington was chosen as the nation’s first president in 1789 as a result of this gathering.


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