The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (commonly known as the Articles of Confederation) are considered to be the first written constitution of the United States and were created to make the country stronger against Great Britain. They were an agreement between the 13 original states, i.e. Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia. The Articles stated that the states remained independent, though the Congress would always be on hand to make treaties, settle disputes, and maintain the country’s army.
Many people have admired the Articles of Confederation, saying that it was a good example of a constitution and that it had accomplished a lot during the time it was set in place. However, it has also gained criticisms from those who think that it wasn’t as effective as it should have been. If you don’t know which side you should stand on, you first have to learn about the pros and cons of the Articles of Confederation.
List of Pros of the Articles of Confederation
1. They protected and strengthened the United States.
During the 1700s, the British government had imposed strict regulations on those who lived in the American colonies and had become tyrannical in its rule. This urged the early Americans to long for independence, which was one of the reasons why they came up with the Articles of Confederation. Through these, they showed Great Britain and the entire world that the young nation was quite capable of taking care of itself. It also sent a message that America was ready to form trade relations with other countries.
2. They gave freedom to U.S. citizens.
Under the British rule, Americans couldn’t easily travel or trade with each other. The Articles of Confederation changed this rule, allowing Americans to go wherever they pleased to find employment opportunities and to trade goods and services with each other.
3. They organized the original thirteen states.
The Articles of Confederation encouraged the thirteen states to establish trading connections with each other and improve their economies. It also pushed them to cooperate with each other to fight the British and maintain the United States independence.
List of Cons of the Articles of Confederation
1. They encouraged a weak central government.
Under the Articles of Confederation, the thirteen states remained independent and continued to govern themselves. This means that there was no central government that could impose national laws and unite the states.
2. They didn’t promote a good taxation system.
Since there was no central government, there was also no tax base under the Articles of Confederation. This means that the nation didn’t have the funds to repay the debts it incurred during the American Revolutionary War and to develop the country’s infrastructure.
3. They paved the way to poor military program.
The Articles of Confederation stated that each colony had to create and maintain its own military. This didn’t quite work out because it meant that the soldiers didn’t receive proper training and that there was no stable and strong military to protect the entire country.
The Articles of Confederation provided several benefits but also came with a set of drawbacks. Fortunately, it was replaced by the United States Constitution, which now provides a strong framework for the country.