The Articles of Confederation was the first constitution of the United States of America. The
Articles of Confederation were first drafted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in
1777. This first draft was prepared by a man named John Dickinson in 1776. The Articles were then
ratified in 1781. The cause for the changes to be made was due to state jealousies and widespread distrust
of the central authority. This jealousy then led to the emasculation of the document.
As adopted, the articles provided only for a "firm league of friendship" in which each of the 13
states expressly held "its sovereignty, freedom, and independence."
The People of each state ...view middle of the document...
Second, Congress had no power to tax. Instead, it was to assess its expenses and
divide those among the states on the basis of the value of land. States were then to tax their own citizens to
raise the money for these expenses and turn the proceeds over to Congress. They could not be forced to
do so, and in practice they rarely met their obligations. Third, Congress lacked the power to control
commerce--without its power to conduct foreign relations was not necessary, since most treaties except
those of peace were concerned mainly with trade.
The fourth weakness ensured the demise of the Confederation by making it too difficult to correct the first
three. Amendments could have corrected any of the weaknesses, but amendments required approval by
all 13 state legislatures. None of the several amendments that were proposed met that requirement.
On the days from September 11, 1786 to September 14, 1786, New Jersey, Delaware,
Pennsylvania, and Virginia had a meeting of there delegates at the Annapolis Convention. Too few states
were represented to carry out the original purpose of the meeting--to discuss the regulation of interstate
commerce--but there was a larger topic at question, specifically, the weakness of the Articles of
Confederation. Alexander Hamilton
successfully proposed that the states be invited to send delegates to Philadelphia to render the constitution
of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union." As a
result, the Constitutional Convention was held in May 1787.
The Constitutional Convention, which wrote the Constitution of the United...