American government colonial times vs. now.docx - Articles...

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Articles Confederation vs. Constitution Ever since the American colonist declared themselves independent from Britain, they have strived to create a strong government that upholds the basic values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The declaration of independence was signed in 1776. A new nation was born. The colonist realized that for this nation to remain free, they must establish a strong government based on the principles of the declaration. Fear of abusive power, led the colonist to mandate writing all their laws. Two of the written governing documents of American are the Articles of the Confederation and the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation governed early American until the Constitution replaced it. The Constitution has been amended over the years but still remains the core of America. Articles of Confederation During the revolution, Colonist needed a document to outline their new government. On June 12, 1776, Congress chose state representatives to pen the Articles of the Confederation. These articles placed power in the hands of the states which produced a weak central government. Only the legislative body remained at the national level. In the Articles “each [body of government had] its specified powers, but sovereignty ultimately rested in the states, and by implication, the people themselves” (Schweikart and Allen 102). Containing thirteen articles, the Articles of the Confederation was, so far, the most detailed American document. Article I named the nation the United States of American. Article II emphasized the states retain all rights except those granted to congress. Because the Articles allowed for each state to have its own constitution and laws, the sovereignty of states could have caused division. The independence of each state could have resulted in several nations instead of one united nation. Articles III-IV deal with the problem of state superiority. These sections established that states were to maintain
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