The Articles Of Confederation: The First Written Constitution Of The United States


The United States of America has kept the Constitution as its foundation for its government for over two-hundred years, and it's certainly done its job. However, before the Constitution even existed, the United States had something called the Articles of Confederation, which allowed the states to rule over themselves instead of one elected leader with other branches of government to assist this leader. With this came lots of trial and error that made the United States scrap the AoC completely and replace it with something new that would be able to reach out to everyone. Although the Articles of Confederation had many flaws, the Constitution was made to maximize and secure American citizen’s stability, checks, and balances, with an overall improvement of the government that was once the colonies’; Therefore, the Constitution is the superior structure for America’s government. 

The Articles of Confederation was certainly a good starting point! However, it was just a starting point with many flaws in it. It was trying its best to separate itself from the way the government was before; very controlling with one person as to its head. The old government was a monarchy, with King George III as the leader. With the AoC, they were trying to push away from that and allow the states to govern themselves as if they’re their own countries, which didn’t exactly work out. While the governors were trying to govern themselves and their states, nationwide decisions weren’t being made, which was needed for the country to have harmony to it. The government was shown to be strongest when there is a leader to maintain order across the country. This is exactly why the checks and balances system was put into place (Doc 5); the checks and balances system appoints people for a legislative branch, a judicial branch, and an executive branch, all working together to keep the country secure. With states running themselves like the AoC deemed fit, there was an imbalance in the country. Instead of this, the legislative branch has two chambers inside of it; the senate, being represented equally with two people from each state, and the house of representatives, being represented by the population of each state, with more members depending on the population of a state (Doc 3). Some people believed that the senate specifically was flawed as its equal power given to every state, no matter the population (Doc 4), but it first went through the house of representatives, which is represented by population, and went through/or is at least glanced at by every branch to make the laws going through lawful. The checks and balances made sure that peoples’ liberties and rights weren’t being broken as there were many people to vote and debate laws that could seriously change America’s future (Doc 2). Many state leaders believed that the Constitution was there simply to take their power away, but the Articles of Confederation were working for the state leaders only, as nothing was able to get done since every state had an individual vote and they needed a majority. With the Constitution, the states still had power, but they had less than before and focused on their state instead of nationwide issues. The Constitution established a voting system that many other (many used loosely) nations haven’t seen before; being able to vote for your own candidate to become the president. Many people were worried that the government would turn into a chaotic mess if the power gets into the wrong hands (Doc 6), but men were able to vote for the candidate they wished. Since people can vote for candidates of their choice, many things were done that King George the III hasn’t accomplished: a well-regulated militia with people flowing in, respect for religion, not allowing the military to sleep in peoples’ quarters, and power for the people and also for the states (Doc 7). The new country didn’t want to fall in the same footsteps that the old colonies suffered through, which is why it’s extremely important for the leaders to give the people a voice and hear what the people have to say about the government and the constitution. The AOC was scrapped because it didn’t respect the people; it didn’t even have amendments regarding people’s rights as it wasn’t deemed necessary. If the people don’t have a voice, the United States will fall back into the ways of the colonies with one supreme leader and people rioting because their government isn’t listening to the changes they’re begging for. 

 

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