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The primary cause for the development of the 1789 constitution was the ineffectiveness of the Articles of Confederation as a national government. The Articles had been created while the Revolutionary War was still engaged; and the individual states were jealous of their own sovereignty. An attempt had been made to form a new government which provided some degree of unity and at the same time protected state sovereignty. It proved unworkable. There was no means of raising revenue for the new government, states did not cooperate with each other and at times openly hindered each others economic activity, and it appeared that the new nation would not last. George Washington famously commented:
We have perhaps held too good an opinion of human nature in forming our new confederation.
The Constitution of 1789, under which the U.S. Government still operates with some modification created a perpetual union and solved the problems left unsolved by the Articles. It provided for a strong central government and at the same time protected the sovereignty of the states. For this reason, it has survived for over two hundred years.
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