How does US Constitution overcome the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation?

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

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The Articles of Confederation was our first plan of government. It was designed to create a weak federal government. This led to many problems that eventually needed to be addressed. A meeting was held to write a new plan of government. This new plan was called the Constitution. The Constitution tried to resolve some of the issues that existed under the Articles of Confederation.

One thing the Constitution did was to give the federal government power to deal with financial issues. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government couldn’t levy taxes. This led to financial issues. Under the Constitution, the federal government had the power to levy taxes. This helped the federal government raise money to pay our debts and meet our obligations. The Constitution also gave the federal government the power to print money. Under the Articles of Confederation, the state governments and the federal government could print money. This created issues as people didn’t have confidence in the paper money that was issued. With only the federal government issuing money, this was not a real concern.

The Constitution also gave the federal government more power to deal with disorder in our country. Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government couldn’t make people join the army. Under the Constitution, the federal government could do this if needed. This helped the federal government deal with internal dissent as well as issues with other countries.

The federal government also was allowed to make treaties with other countries. This allowed our government to deal with countries that weren’t treating us well. Jay’s Treaty and Pinckney’s treaty are examples of treaties we signed to resolve issues we had with other countries.

By giving the federal government more power to operate, the Constitution was able to overcome some of the problems that existed under the Articles of Confederation.

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