The Formation of a National GovernmentLeaders crafted constitutional, legal basis for young nationThey recognized that the paramount need was to reconcile two different powers – the power of local control, which was already being exercised by the 13 semi-independent states, and the power of a central government. They adopted the principle that the functions and powers of the national government – being new, general, and inclusive – had to be carefully defined and stated, while all other functions and powers were to be understood as belonging to the states. But realizing that the central government had to have real power, the delegates also generally accepted the fact that the government should be authorized, among other things, to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, and to make peace.
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