The Articles of Confederation

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What factors led to a call for a central government stronger than the Articles of Confederation?

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There were a number of factors that led to this call.  Some of the most important factors include:

  • Lack of coordination in foreign policy.  Some states wanted to enact tariffs against British goods.  Others did not.  This undermined the policies of those that did want tariffs because the British ships could simply go to the “free” ports to trade.
  • Desire to help infant industries.  Many people who manufactured things wanted tariff protections from competition.  The central government was not strong enough to impose such things.
  • Worries about economic policies.  Many states were instituting things like “stay laws” to prevent farmers in particular from losing their land to debt.  Economic elites worried that such policies would harm the economy.  Political conservatives worried that they were the fruit of excessive democracy.
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