First they just tried printing currency which worked

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Unformatted text preview: if Congress allowed it. There was no national currency or system of measurement. - Some historians (John Fisk) call the period from 1781 to 1788 the “Critical Period” b/c the AOC wasn’t strong enough and the country consequently almost failed. Others disagree (Charles Beard) and claim that it was a time of recovery and progress and that only the elite were hurt, which led to the creation of the Constitution to protect their interests. - Regardless of the side one takes it’s pretty clear they had some major issues under the AOC… 52 *Problems under the Articles of Confederation* - Finance was the biggest problem faced by both the state and nat’l gov’ts. First they just tried printing currency, which worked at first b/c there was high demand for supplies and goods during the war. But when the army suffered losses in late 1776 and Americans lost faith in the gov’t inflation began. Although states made efforts to stop inflation, it was pretty much a lost cause and by 1780 American $ was worthless. Also on the economic side, since the gov’t couldn’t implement uniform commercial policies there was economic warfare between the states, which was the last thing merchants needed. - The weakness of the nat’l gov’t also affected foreign trade, as the AOC denied Congress the power to establish a nat’l commercial policy. Right after the war Britain, France and Spain restricted American trade w/their colonies, but Congress could do nothing but watch as cheap British goods flood US markets (causing a severe drop in domestic prices, which hurt debtors, esp. farmers). - In foreign affairs, Congress was unable to deal w/the Spanish presence on the nation’s Southern and Western borders b/c Congress, which opened negotiations in 1785, was unable to make progress and had to end the talks altogether when Congress split on what they would exchange for the opening of the Mississippi River (which Spain closed in 1784). - Another big problem related to the fact that under the AOC Congress couldn’t enforce treaties. Conseque...
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