The Articles of Confederation
Updated: 1/12/2021
The Articles of Confederation

Storyboard Text

  • The Articles of Confederation was the first constitution America had, and like most governments, it wasn't easy to control at first. The government was low on money, and needed taxes to get money, but the problem was, they couldn't do anything to make the states pay those taxes, so the government's power was limited compared to the states. The founders knew the people disliked the over-taxation of the British, so they hoped that not requiring the states to pay would make them seem less demanding. It turned out to work the opposite way they expected, and they were soon low on money.
  • The Articles of Confederation went wrong in a few different ways, but one of them was because the government didn't have any power to enforce the laws they made. They had no military advantage. This meant that the states could do whatever they wanted without being punished, include not pay taxes, which lead to the government printing more and more money, finally leading to people having handfuls of useless cash.
  • Another weakness of the Articles of Confederation was that the government could't regulate trade at all. This was unfortunate because the states needed goods, and if they couldn't trade away or get any, then they would be hungry.
  • Something good that the Articles of Confederation made possible was the Northwest Ordinance. The Northwest Ordinance was a method for new states to be added into America. If a place had at least a population of 60,000, and at least 5,000 free, white, land-owning men, it could vote to become a state. This method worked relatively well for allowing new states to join America at the time.
  • The Northwest Ordinance also allowed freedom of religion to anyone under the ordinance. The Native Americans were also to be treated better, but they weren't given equal rights.Slavery was outlawed in places that were under the ordinance, so any new states were not allowed to have slaves being forced to work.
  • A lot of men that went to fight in the Revolutionary War were farmers, and they had to get loans from the bank while they were at war, so they wouldn't lose their farm while they were at war. When the farmers came back, the banks wanted their money back, but the farmers didn't have that money, so they often lost their farms. The starving farmers were already bad enough, and when the government started making them pay taxes, they joined together to form Shays' Rebellion
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