Did the Constitution and the Federal government provide more or less freedom than the Articles of Confederation?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Overall, there was not that much difference between the amount of freedom that was available to Americans after the Constitution was ratified as compared to before.  The Constitution, of course, included the Bill of Rights.  This codified the rights that were guaranteed and ensured that the federal government would not be allowed to infringe upon them.  Therefore, there was no real loss of civil liberties when the Constitution took effect.  It can be argued that the Constitution increased economic rights.  With the Constitution ratified, contracts could not be abrogated by legislatures and interstate commerce could not be prevented by the states.  These clauses of the Constitution increased protections for economic rights.

The federal government under the Constitution, then, did not infringe on civil liberties significantly more than previously and there were more protections for economic rights.

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