The Articles of Confederation was the first documentation of the beginning structure of the United States government, which held together the 13 colonies who had just fought in the Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation only lasted for 8 years (March 1, 1781 to March 4, 1786) till the Continental Congress decided to create a new Constitution to cover the failures of the old Articles. The Articles of Confederation was an overall failure because it didn't establish an effective central government, and created many problems in both the central government and the state governments with topics such as the economy, representation in Congress and foreign situations. .
A weakness of the Articles of Confederation was the inability to tax and the inability to regulate foreign and interstate commerce. First, there was an enormous amount of nation debt that Congress wasn't able to effectively deal with. Even with $35 million dollars in debt, Congress had to keep borrowing more and more money to pay off the accumulating interest that came with their (the USA's) debt. Congress was unable to tax the states to pay off this massive debt, so all Congress was able to do was to ask for money from the states, and within 2 ½ years, Congress had only received about $1.5 million. The power of taxation and tariffs were given to the states, and each state had its own currency, which made it difficult to interstate trade. With the Articles of Confederation, its main purpose was to keep the national government as weak as possible and let the state governments have most of the power. Some people were afraid to let the national government have a lot of power of the economy. Pointed out in a letter from the Rhode Island Assembly to Congress, "Because it would be unequal in its operation, bearing hardest on the most commercial states, and so would press peculiarly hard upon this State, which draws its chief support from commerce.