Agreed in November 15, 1777 by Continental Congress, the Articles of Confederation aims to form a government for an emerging country to go against the British government. Together with the Perpetual Union of Thirteen States, these articles were ratified in March 1781 by Maryland and were approved with powerful promises of freedom. While many people see these articles as very beneficial, others see them as having certain drawbacks. Here are the pros and cons of the Articles of Confederation:
List of Pros of Articles of Confederation
1. It gave authority to the Congress to take care of international affairs and created Congressional departments.
Proponents claim that this set of agreements was significant in providing power to the Congress to negotiate with other nations in times of conflicts. It allows the Congress to declare peace and war, with the Treaty of Paris as the best example. Moreover, it created some Congressional departments, such as the Postal Service and Foreign Affairs, which still remain to be integral components of the US government.
2. It was an agreement among states that became the first Constitution of the US.
After British colonies have gained their independence, there was a need for an agreement, especially that it was a time of territorial expansion when the 13 states still did not have some form of government as a whole. Though the Articles of Confederation were not readily accepted with fear of having a central authority, it opened the door for the states to unite.
3. It strengthened relations among the states.
Those who support the 1st Constitution state that the agreements established a union among the 13 states, having created a bond among them to be able to fight against outside forces that tend to disrupt the peace in or invade these states.
List of Cons of Articles of Confederation
1. It still contains flaws of the 1st and 2nd Continental Congresses.
Though it was drafted six times, this set of agreements still did not present an advantage over its opponents, as it was still not able to provide Congress the power to impose taxes, which was an issue before its ratification. It was not able to create commercial balance, where taxes were only coming from the states, particularly from private land ownerships. Hyperinflation also existed as all states were issuing their own money.
2. It was regarded as a weak document.
According to critics, the 1st Constitution has not delivered what it promised because it was already weak from the start. Also, there were other issues that were not addressed by the agreement, such as not having a government nor an army and not having a president.
3. It led to the Constitution being revised.
This document of agreements was said to fail in serving its purpose, especially in addressing issues like taxation. Opponents argue that, if it was successful, then it would not have been changed to the US Constitution.
If it would have been properly and wisely enforced, the Articles of Confederation could have possibly accomplished its goals. Based on the pros and cons listed above, do you think that it has done enough for the country, or not?
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.