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Articles of Confederation

            While the Articles were a major contribution to the framework of the new government and an essential step towards unity, the Articles of Confederation proved wholly unsatisfactory because of the lack of power given to the central government. Congress was completely dependant upon the states; they supplied all funds, and had the power to overrule national edicts and decrees. Congress desperately tried to find a happy medium for all of the states laws but with little success. Furthermore, without any real power, the national government was unable to impose taxes, create treaties, regulate trade or unify currency.
             Even with its many weaknesses, many important decisions were made under the Articles of Confederation. The Land Acts passed by congress helped a great deal in partially eliminating national debt. The first of these two acts was the Land Ordinance of 1785, it said that the land claimed by various states should be ceded to the national government and sold to help eradicate national debt. As seen in document e, almost one half of the country's acreage was given back to the government for this cause. The latter of the two acts was the Northwest Ordinance which defines the steps a territory had to go through to become a state. This plan was so successful that it was put to use when Americans pushed further westward.
             Americans clutched to the familiar form of government, they were very suspicious of any government that gave too much power to a single person, such as a Federal government. When the Continental Congress was called, many thought that the Articles needed only a few minor adjustments and were comfortable with the weakened central government. Why tear down a perfectly sound structure because of a minor flaw in the construction? This is how a delegate in the Carolina House of Representatives responded to Rawlin Lowndes" plea to adopt the new constitution. Several of these sentiments were shared in the colonies, and it was believed that any sudden shift in the form of government would only further weaken the infant nation.

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