The Articles of Confederation

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What were the economic, administrative, and legislative weaknesses of the government under the Articles of Confederation? How were these weaknesses different? 

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The Articles of Confederation created economic, administrative, and legislative weaknesses in the US government. These issues, while each distinct, were also interrelated, as they created a situation of political confusion and instability.

The economic weaknesses were that the government could not tax people directly and relied on the states for money. As the states did not give the government the funds it needed, the federal government was strapped for funds and could not often pay soldiers or bondholders. In addition, the central government and states could both issue currency, resulting in too much currency in circulation and rampant inflation. The legislative problems related to the government under the Articles of Confederation were that it could not regulate any inter-state issues, including commerce, and there were no standard tariffs (which are taxes on imports). With regard to administration, the Articles of Confederation made it very difficult to conduct relations with foreign countries (in part because there were no standard tariffs and in part because there was no President), and administer to the new lands that were admitted to the country after the Revolutionary War. These weaknesses resulted in the call for a new government and the creation of the Constitution in 1787. 

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