The Articles of Confederation

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Why were the Articles of Confederation needed?

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The Articles of Confederation was an agreement among the original thirteen United States colonies. The Articles of Confederation was drafted during the Second Continental Congress and approved and ratified by all thirteen colonies in 1781. The initial purpose of this document was to encourage independence of the individual states and help differentiate the new American government from the old British government.

The Articles of Confederation was needed for many reasons. The Articles allowed Congress to proceed with The Revolutionary War, to do business overseas and with Native Americans, and to legalize what the new American government had been doing before having a finalized document.

Most importantly, the Articles of Confederation gave America a set of rules and guidelines to follow. By writing down a constitution, the people of the new country had a more stable government. The Articles also helped separate American government from British Parliament by giving more power to individual states.

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There are at least two ways to answer this.

First, we can say that the Articles of Confederation were needed because a country needs to have a constitution.  A country needs to have some set of rules that will say how it is to be governed.  Perhaps it does not need it if it has been around for a long time and has been gradually developing its government, but in a new country, there has to be some sort of constitution so that everyone knows how the government will be set up.

Second, we can say that the Articles of Confederation were needed as a way to correct the problems of the British government.  The colonists had felt that the British government was too centralized.  They felt that they had little or no say in it.  Therefore, it was necessary to create something like the Articles of Confederation with a very weak central government and a great deal of power left to the states.  Such a constitution would have reassured the Americans that the new government would be better than the old one.

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