Why Did the Articles of Confederation Fail?

Challenges of the Articles of Confederation? 10 reasons why America’s first constitution failed.
  1. Tax issues

    This was the primary issue, and it led to numerous difficulties because Congress had no power over its implementation. The first problem was that the states gave very less financial assistance to the government, making it impossible for the government to pay the soldiers who fought in the revolution. The government ceased up in arrears. (See Why Do You Have To Pay Taxes?)

  2. The document was practically impossible to change

    The major problem was that the Article needed unanimous consent for making any changes; therefore, all the 13 states would have to agree on the same thing. As there was rivalry among the nations after the war ended with Britain in 1783, it became impossible to make the amendments.

  3. Trade issues

    Yet another reason for its failure was the insufficient law concerning trade. There was a lack of supervisory control because of which the states could impose different tariff levels. This problem was both in interstate and international trade as well; it confused. Trading almost stopped as states used different tax rates when buying and selling goods; it also affected the trade with European countries.

  4. The central government was sketched to be limited

    The Articles established “the United States of America” as a permanent union designed to protect the states as a group. Still, it gave some central powers exceeding that. But it didn’t have an executive official or judicial branch.

  5. No Federal Courts

    Another drawback was the non-existence of federal courts, because of which the border disputes never came to an end. Every state set up its own laws; this gave benefits to fugitives as they could escape punishment by shifting to the nearest state.

  6. The one vote law

    This law gave the authority to the states to act independently from the central government, irrespective of whether it is in the most suitable interest of the country.

  7. Lack of Government power

    Because of such laws, there was an uneven distribution of power. The significant power was in the hands of states and not Congress. Because of this reason, Congress had to study all the deficiencies so that the proper revisions could be made. (See Why is Government Necessary?)

  8. Other reasons

    Congress required a minimum of 9 out of 13 countries to approve any amendments, because of which it became pretty tough to pass any legislation. Additionally, Congress did not have the power to keep the states from establishing trade relations with other countries and managing the states.

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