To what extent were the Articles of Confederation an inadequate form of government? In your answer, include discussions on the following topics: Foreign Affairs problems, Domestic Affairs problems.
The Articles of Confederation was an inadequate form of the government because of foreign and domestic problems. It was the first constitution of the U.S. It was a firm league of friendship between the states, but the states were not so friendly to each other. The states chose an Article of Confederation because having a constitution could result in a monarchy. The colonies lived in a monarchy under King George III. The King suffered from mental health issues and harsh laws. He used taxes such as the Stamp Act, Sugar Act, Tea Act and many more to the colonist but still was not giving them a political voice in the British Parliament. The colonist spent all the money they had on these taxes and was very angry. As a result, the angry colonist threw a lot of tea into the Boston Harbor, costing the government millions of dollars. This rebellion was called the Boston Tea Party. The colonies tried to negotiate with the King but it did not work out. The states were a sovereign and wanted their own identity.
Due to the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation there were several foreign affairs issues. One of the first issues was after the war; congress was in massive debt and needed
to pay other countries. Foreign countries did not trust congress because they were financially unstable. For example, the U.S. owed money to France, Spain and Amsterdam for loans made after the Revolutionary War. (U.S. Debt and Foreign Loans, 1775-1795) Congress tried to pay France but when they went to set up payments, France tried to make them pay taxes. Congress did not want to pay taxes plus the money they owe France so, they kilt everyone and left. Till this day America still owes France money. (Smith Jr.) Another issue was that the states had power to trade between countries. For example, The Articles of Confederation limited the power of Congress. They did not have the power to tax, to trade with countries and assemble troops. (Brinkley 153) One last issue was that Congress lacked armed forces. There were less than 100 men in the military. They needed the military to help defend the U.S. but they did not have any. For example, they had problems with Great Britain and Spain. Their issue with Great Britain was boundaries. The British were supposed to relinquish forts in the Northwest. Also their Navy ships were in America water. It opposed a threat to America. Their issue with Spain was the Port of New Orleans and the Mississippi River was closed to the Americans. Congress claimed all of these lands and landmarks but could not challenge them for the land because of the lack of military. (Sage)
As a result of the inadequacy of the Articles of Confederation there was several domestic affairs issue. One of the first issues was that the U.S. did not have a common currency. This caused conflict because each currency was worth a different amount and most states refused to accept money from others. For example, each state regulated its own trade which resulted in many disputes among states and with other nations. Trade became very difficult. (Brackemyre) Another issue was the difficulty of passing laws. Each state only had one vote and 9 of 13 states
needed to agree to pass laws. (Dickinson) Tension rose between the 5 small states and the 8 larger states. For example, Virginia was one of the bigger states. It had twice as many people as every state except for Pennsylvania but still only had one vote in congress. One last issue is the states were taxing farms. Massachusetts raised the taxes and the courts foreclosed the farms and arrested the people who could not pay their taxes. For example, in Shay’s Rebellion, the farmers thought the economic and political policies were unjust. The farmers started planning an attack to raid the arsenal so they can get weapons to fight back. (Brackemyre)
All in all, because of foreign affairs and domestic affairs, the Articles of Confederation was an inadequate form of government. Foreign affairs were a huge problem because Congress was in massive debt, the states had the power to trade between countries and Congress lacked armed forces. Domestic affairs were also a huge problem because there was not a commonly currency, it was difficult to pass laws and the rising of taxes on farms. Congress had no real power. The states wanted their identity. The people of America realized that all their different problems could not be resolved with the Articles of Confederation so they created a Constitution.