The Failure of Articles of Confederation and How the Bigger Government Benefits the U.S.
Historically Americans have been against a central government that has power above all the states. Must be remembered, it was this feelings that led to the American revolution. To explain,” After the seven year war, also known as the French and Indian War, Great Britain had acquired a substantial amount of debt, this caused them start taxing the American colonist as a way to recover their economy” (Price, 2009). “American colonists argued that since only people living in Great Britain had voting rights in the parliament American colonist felt that since they had no voting right towards the parliament they were being represented, hence the “no taxation without representation”” (Price, 2009). Another key point to remember, This was not the first issue the colonist had with the crown, “colonist had already tried the rebel against the crown, corrupt officials tat were charging huge feed and seizing property” (Price, 2009). Those were the issue presented above were predominantly the ones that led for the colonists fight for and eventually get their independence form Great Britain, and “for the articles of confederation to be written”. “The articles of confederation were written in 1777, but they weren’t ratified until 1781”.
After less than a decade it clear that the articles of confederation weren’t a viable form of government. To explain, “under the article of confederation states had as much independence as possible within the central government of the United States” (Kelly, 2019). “Congress could not impose taxes or regulate commerce” (Kelly, 2019). “Because of this each state started acting as its own independent country” (Kelly, 2019). This would become one of the key issue as to why the articles of confederation failed. “States making deals with foreign government, to print their own currency, and they even had their own military” (Kelly, 2019). Due to the fear of big governments among the people of strong central government “Americans were more loyal to their respective states, rather than to the country” (Kelly, 2019). “Because of the disorganization throughout the states, the economy was very uncoordinated and unstable. (Kelly, 2019)”. This discoordination was what eventually led to “to Shays rebellion in Massachusetts (a a protest against rising debt and economic chaos)”. Important to realize “The national government tried to help, but due to it being so weak, it powerless to help” (Kelly, 2019). It became clear that states functioning independently to one another was not a sustainable form of government and that a new form of government needed to be implement.
In view of the failure of the articles of confederations, a new form of government was implemented. “The United states constitution succeeded the Articles of confederation and the United States adopted federalism as its new form of government”. “In the United States federalism is a form in which a countries power is divided between a central government and states governments” (wwnorton.com). The United States constitution “made a clear separation of powers among its three branches of government”. “Those are the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. The power is divided across each branch creating a system known as checks and balances, in which it is ensures that no one branch becomes too predominant“
Through sharing the power between the national government and the state government the ability of citizens to have a saying in their government policy, and law making increased” (Wiseman, R). “States having their own forms of government which can implement their own policies, people with different policy views don’t have to live together” (Wiseman, R) Instead they can each move to a state that best fits their views”. Furthermore, “state government can more closely analyze the problems of its citizens and more efficiently deal them” (Wiseman, R). Also, “with each state being able to implement their own policies it is possible to see which policy is beneficial for a state and which aren’t” (Wiseman, R). If a policy works in one state other can imitated, and if it fails other states now know not to use. he evidences that this form of government works is that currently the United States is currently the most powerful country in the world.
The United States has been through different form of federalism. Those are dual federalism, cooperative federalism, regulated and the current new federalism”. Through out each the federal government has gained and more power. Under dual federalism, “there was a clear division of power”, “the federal government limited itself primarily to promoting commerce and the states did most of the governing”. Under cooperative federalism, “because the states received grants in aid form the federal government, the federal government power got extrendend, but the states kept most of their powers”. The national government got its powers extended even more under regulated federalism, “It began to attach “strings” to federal monies that states were in need of”. The current new federalism, “pretty much involves both the states and the federal government trying to compete for power”.
In a country as big as the United States that is home to “over 300 million individuals” (Curtis, 2013), one big central government that holds power over all the states would be an unsustainable form of government. A power division between a central government and regional governments is necessary. This can be better understood through analyzing ‘failed countries such as the soviet union” (Curtis, 2013) “It wasn’t that Soviet planners responsible for central planning were incompetent, it was just physically impossible to gather data, make plans, and execute those plans in a manner that matches reality” (Curtis, 2013). Another reason as to why big governments are not a good form of government can be seen once you analyze the reasons as to why economy in countries such as Venezuela, who was once the country with the “fastest raising economy in south America” (Kiger, 2019), eventually collapsed.
In “1998 Hugo Chavez was elected as president of Venezuela” (Kiger, 2019). “Chavez uses the money the country of Venezuela had acquired through their oil reserves to finance education, health, food, and housing programs for a population of over 30 million citizens” (Kiger, 2019). “Chavez tried to diversify the countries economy, but due to how expensive all of the social programs he was implanting were the country became even more dependent on their oil exportation (Kiger, 2019)”. “Eventually when the oil prices dropped, so did the country’s economy” (Kiger, 2019). Currently Venezuela is currently ruled by dictator who arrest opposition political leader, and has taken away the powers of the national assembly. As can be seen not only are countries with a big centralized government unable to properly handle all the issues that present within the country, but also it is expensive and difficult to finance, which eventually leads to a failed economy.
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