Weaknesses of the articles of confederation
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Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Weakness No power to tax No national executive Unicameral legislature No judicial/national court No checks & balances!. Result No money No enforcement of laws One vote / state unequal representation Problems with interstate

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Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation

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Weaknesses of the articles of confederation

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


Weaknesses of the articles of confederation1

Weakness

No power to tax

No national executive

Unicameral legislature

No judicial/national court

No checks & balances!

Result

No money

No enforcement of laws

One vote / state

unequal representation

Problems with interstate

relations

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


Weaknesses of the articles of confederation2

Weaknesses

No regulation of commerce

No power to maintain army

Government dominated by

states

Need 9/13 to pass a law &

unanimous consent to amend

Results

Economic quarrels

No foreign trade

No defense

No unity

Impossible to accomplish

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


Other problems under confederated government

Other Problems under ConfederatedGovernment

  • States were issuing their own paper money but inflation soon made it worthless

  • Post war depression hurt small businesses and lowered prices farmers received for their crops which left farmers unable to pay debts.

  • In Mass. farmers attacked courthouses to prevent judges from foreclosing on farmers –

    Shay’s Rebellion.


Other problems under confederated government1

Other Problems under Confederated Government

Some of the economic elite in other states feared more attacks like Shay’s Rebellion where the people had taken the law into their hands and violated the property rights of others.


Other problems under confederated government2

Other Problems under Confederated Government

  • Neither Congress nor Mass. was not able to pay for a militia to stop the rebellion – privately paid forces had to do the job.

  • All this fueled the dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation.


Weaknesses of the articles of confederation

How the Constitution addressed the problems of the Articles of Confederation


Weaknesses of the articles of confederation3

Weakness

No power to tax

No national executive

Unicameral legislature

No judicial/national court

Solution

Article I sec 8

Congress has power

Article II

Presidential power

Article I

Bicameral legislature

Article III

National Courts

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


Weaknesses of the articles of confederation4

Weaknesses

No regulation of commerce

No power to maintain army

Government dominated by states

Need 9/13 to pass a law & unanimous consent to amend

Solutions

Article I sec 8

foreign & interstate commerce

Article I sec 8

army & navy

Article VI

Constitution & Federal

Govt are supreme

Articles I & V

I = majority for laws

V = 2/3 & ¾ to ammend

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation


Motivation of the framers

Motivation of the Framers

Two Theories


Motivation of the framers two theories

MOTIVATION OF THE FRAMERSTwo Theories

Charles Beard : The economic elitist view

  • The framers of the Constitution represented the “solid, conservative, commercial and financial interests of the country.”

  • They were distrustful of the majority rule and sought to structure the government to prevent democratic excess and protect the interests of the propertied class.

  • Many framers were trained in politics, law, finance and administration and were landowners, merchants & creditors (the economic elite)


Weaknesses of the articles of confederation

Charles Beard : The economic elitist view

  • Objected to direct popular government – thought the representative form would check the “democratic excesses” of the people and the aristocratic body (Senate) of men of property would hold down the turbulence of democracy

    Supports for his arguments:

  • Many of the delegates were the economic elite

  • Checks & balances were built in the doctrine that one popular branch of government cannot be allowed to sway or enact laws touching on property

  • There was exclusion of direct vote for President and Senate

  • There was an independent judiciary


Supports for beard s argument cont

Supports for Beard’s argument (cont’)

  • There would have been property qualifications for voting in the Constitution but they couldn’t agree on the nature & amount

  • Finally, ratification was not by popular vote but through the state legislatures where a more elite economic view prevailed.


John roche a democratic reform view

JohnRoche: A democratic reform view

  • The framing of the Constitution was a democratic reform process

  • They were professional politicians who hammered out a series of pragmatic compromises which would strengthen the national interest but also be acceptable to the people.

  • Framers were a political elite that were not just dedicated to establishing an effective controlled national government that would overcome the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.


John roche a democratic reform view1

JohnRoche: A democratic reform view

  • The framers risked their political fortunes by opposing the established doctrines of state sovereignty because they were convinced that the existing system was leading to national impotence and probably foreign domination.

  • “The Constitution was not a triumph of architectonic genius, it was a patchwork sewn together under the pressure of both time and events by a group of extremely talented democratic politicians. “

    Translation: the document was a conglomeration of compromises put together to make the Constitution “saleable” to the general population.


Supports for roche s argument

Supports for Roche’s argument

  • The Va. Delegation came to the convention with a completely new plan which set the agenda from revision of the Articles to complete change.

  • Although he was against equal representation in the Senate, Madison was willing to compromise knowing that there would not be a Constitution without compromise.

  • The concept of federalism was just a compromise worked out by the supporters of strong central government and state sovereignty`


Supports for roche s s argument

Supports for Roche’s’s argument

  • Practical compromises:

    • - Electoral College: a “jerry-rigged improvisation” that gave a bonus to the small states and settled an argument over the selection of the executive

    • - Three-Fifths Compromise: was a bargain between the Northern & Southern states - compromise of 3/5 representation for slaves for the South

    • - Trade Compromises: The South is allowed to continue slave trade for 20 years & a 20 year ban on cotton taxation in exchange for majority vote for any navigation acts that the Northern states wanted.

    • Motivation: Compromises to get passage of the Constitution


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