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

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The weakness of central government in the Articles of Confederation had a profound impact on America's relations with other nations.

The Articles of Confederation  sought to create a weak central government.  It wanted to preserve the power of the states in a new union. The President's only tangible power was to reside over Congress. The state governments had all of the power, as seen in how any law that the nation passed had to be ratified by 9 of the 13 states.  Such logistics made it difficult to govern the new nation.  

This challenge was especially seen in how the nation was able to handle foreign threats. The Articles of Confederation lacked the ability to make strong, unified national statements. Other nations around the world perceived this and used it to their advantage. For example, England did not remove forts vital to fur trading, even though it lost the Revolutionary War.  The Articles of Confederation's lack of centralized government did not provide for an effective army that could be used to root out the English presence.  The Spanish were able to occupy portions of the Mississippi River because Northern States refused to authorize military action against Spain.  As a result, the Spanish were able to charge excessive duties against Southern merchants who used the Mississippi River to transport goods.  The inability to effectively enforce treaties or agreements with other nations weakened the new nation against foreign threats.

The Articles of Confederation's weak central government affected relations with foreign nations significantly.  The lack of a national government created opportunities for foreign nations to exploit American weakness.

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