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The Articles of Confederation were quite successful in a number of ways; although in the long run they proved too cumbersome to form a long term system of government.
The Articles had several accomplishments, not the least of which is that the Confederation Government was responsible for managing the War. It soon ran into trouble with finances, etc. but did provide some degree of central authority to whom General Washington, etc. responded.
Secondly, the two Northwest Ordinances were quite effective in dealing with the issue of Northwest lands. They provided an orderly scheme of division, a means of financing the debts of the Confederacy, and a system for the admission of new states into the Union on equal footing with other states as well as the all important provision that prohibited slavery in the new territories.
Conversely, without a strong executive and with no power to tax, the Confederation could not function well. It was formed to avoid the very problems from which the Americans had just escaped, and was more a marriage of convenience than a "more perfect union." The cumbersome procedure for voting (by states with a three quarters majority required to act) and its limitations on raising revenue were inherent weaknesses which would prove its undoing.
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