The Articles Of Confederation Vs The Constitution

616 (1 page)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

The Articles of Confederation, the fledgling nation's first constitution, were enacted by the Continental Congress on November 15, 1777. The Articles of Confederation established a system in which the colonies, which are now states, kept the majority of authority. As a result, the central government became weak, lacking important competencies such as foreign policy control and taxation. Because of the state's high taxes and military debt, a group of western Massachusetts citizens led by former Continental Army Captain Daniel Shay revolted in 1786. This episode demonstrated that the federal government formed by the Articles of Confederation was unable to deal with internal rebellions due to a lack of money and military force. The Constitution was drafted in September. The United States established a new constitution just ten years after the Articles of Confederation were written, which differed drastically from the previous one.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

The formation of the three departments of government: executive, legislative, and judicial, was one of the most fundamental changes between the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. This division of powers prevented authority from being consolidated in a single branch. There was no administrative or judicial branch under the Articles of Confederation, and the legislative body was a single body nominated by the state legislatures. The House of Representatives, which is elected by public vote, and the Senate, which is still appointed by the state legislature, make up the bicameral legislature established by the Constitution. Each member of the new Congress was given a vote, whereas each state was given a single vote under the Articles. Members of Congress served one-year terms with term limitations under the Articles, but the Constitution established two-year terms for Representatives and six-year terms for Senators, with no time restrictions.

The federal government was also given increased authority over money and taxes as a result of the Constitution. The new government structure gave Congress jurisdiction over interstate trade and prohibited states from minting their own money. It also gave the federal government the authority to tax people. When the Articles of Confederation were established, political language such as 'Taxation without Representation' was prevalent. This meant that the Articles gave the central government no ability to tax, and instead required it to ask the states for money, with little to no means of enforcing it. The central government would be unable to perform critical functions such as paying debts if it had the capacity to tax. Because it gave the new government the capacity to raise and sustain the military, pay Congress, and fund its other tasks, taxation expanded the federal government's authority.

Finally, the most significant difference between America's two founding documents is that the Articles of Confederation placed state sovereignty in the hands of the states, whereas the Constitution was declared the law of the land when it was ratified, significantly increasing the federal government's power. The Articles were thought to be static, difficult to alter, and ineffectual. The Constitution was designed to be a living document, one that may be updated to fit the changing demands of a nation.

The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution were two of the most important papers created during the American Revolution. The Articles of Confederation were the first effective attempt to organize and mobilize the United States' thirteen founding colonies. Prior to its formation, any American acts considered subversive to the Crown of England were treated in the same light as terrorism is now. The Articles of Confederation resurfaced as a hot subject after the American Revolution. American nationalists, buoyed by their recent win over the English monarchy, contended that the Articles of Confederation lacked appropriate central power for administration reasons. In 1789, the American Constitution was ratified, permanently replacing the Articles of Confederation. 

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
The Articles Of Confederation Vs The Constitution. (2022, December 08). WritingBros. Retrieved April 16, 2024, from
“The Articles Of Confederation Vs The Constitution.” WritingBros, 08 Dec. 2022,
The Articles Of Confederation Vs The Constitution. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 16 Apr. 2024].
The Articles Of Confederation Vs The Constitution [Internet]. WritingBros. 2022 Dec 08 [cited 2024 Apr 16]. Available from:
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges