Give me three examples that explain the differences between the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation.

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are several differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. One difference is the government under the Constitution has the power to levy taxes. There were serious financial problems under the Articles of Confederation. Because the government couldn’t tax, we had trouble paying our debts. When the Constitution went into effect, a tax plan was developed. This helped us pay our debts to other countries.

Another difference is that the government under the Constitution is responsible for printing money. When the Articles of Confederation was our plan of government, both the state governments and the federal government printed money. This caused inflation, and people doubted the value of the paper money. Under the Constitution, only the federal government can print money. This helped to restore confidence in our financial system.

The federal government can now require that people join the military. This wasn’t true during the days of the Articles of Confederation. It was difficult to maintain a military since there weren’t a lot of people in it. This, along with a lack of supplies and money, made it hard for our military to be effective. When other countries tried to push us around, there wasn’t much we could do about it militarily.

A few other significant differences exist. The legislative branch has two houses. In one house, there is an unequal representation as the number of representatives per state is based on the population of the state. States with large populations have more representatives than states with small populations. In the other house, each state has two members. In the executive branch, there is one person, the President, who is in charge. The President has the power to do various things such as negotiate treaties. This enabled our first president, George Washington, to deal with foreign countries when they were pushing us around. There also was a court system established under the Constitution. There were many differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.

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