In 1777, the 2
Continental Congress adopted a set of laws to govern the UnitedStates. These laws were called the Articles of Confederation. Each of the statesneeded to approve, or ratify the Articles. The task of getting every state to ratify theArticles was not completed until 1781.
A Description of our first government
– Under the Articles of Confederation:
Most of the power rested with the individual states.
The national government created by the Articles, had only one “branch.”(The single branch of the government was a legislature, or Congress. TheCongress was made up of representatives, or delegates from the 13 states).
The Congress made laws, carried out the laws, and enforced the laws.(There was no real national court system. Each state maintained its own courts).
The Congress had the power to declare war & and to borrow money).
have the power to tax.
have the power to force one of the states to take a certainaction.
Passage of any measure requiring money required 9 out of 13 votes (more thana simple majority).
Changes to the Articles of Confederacy required
13 delegates approval.As time went on the colonists realized that this form of government made it difficult toget things done, and that the Articles of Confederation, as a government document, hadinherent weaknesses.The Articles were drafted in a time, and under circumstances in which the colonistswanted to move away from a government that had too much power, and especially onethat had too much power concentrated in the hands of one person (King George III).As a response to this feeling, The Articles of Confederation was built upon the sovereignpower of each of the 13 independent states.
- By 1786, two distinct philosophies regarding governmental power hadsurfaced. One philosophy was that there needed to be more “national” power.
- An opposing popular philosophy concerning government was thatthe individual states should retain the most governmental power.www.mirwin.weebly.compage 2 of 3