How did the Articles of Confederation affect relations with other nations?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Articles of Confederation affected relations with other countries. Once we became independent from British rule, we developed a plan of government called the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation gave Congress the power to deal with other countries.

However, the Articles of Confederation created a very weak federal government. Thus, while Congress could deal with other nations, Congress couldn’t force people to join the military. When we had a border dispute with the Spanish over where the border of Spanish Florida and the United States really was, there was little we could do about the dispute since our military was too weak to fight the Spanish. The same was true when Britain wouldn’t leave the western forts. Additionally, when Spain and Great Britain interfered with our trade, there was very little we could do about it because we didn’t have much of a military. The military also was poorly equipped.

As a result of the weak federal government that was created by the plan of government called the Articles of Confederation, our relations were strained with other nations because they were taking advantage of our weak, understaffed military. These countries knew the government couldn’t do much about these actions because our government didn’t have the power to require soldiers to serve in the army. Our government also didn’t have the power to create a strong financial system that would have helped provide supplies for the military. Additionally, our government couldn’t negotiate trade treaties with other countries. The weaknesses of the government created by the Articles of Confederation negatively impacted our relations with other countries.