What are the differences between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States? Why are these constitutions so different?
The Articles of Confederation was exactly that--a loose confederation of states who were really not connected but in name only. The benefit of the Articles was that it created a legitimate government entity that could direct the war with England and conduct diplomacy. Once the revolution ended, however, the weaknesses of the Articles became more apparent. The government could only request, but not require, tax revenue from the individual states, nor could the government require states to provide military support. With every state for itself, foreign policy issues became a bit dicey. Two pieces of legislation, the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance, are generally viewed as positive outcomes of the ill-fated Articles, however, because these two laws established protocols for organizing new territories and admitting new states to the Union.