Weakiness of confederation

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HistoryCentral.com > > New Nation>WEakness of Confederation

Weakness of the Confederation



The Articles of Confederation had established a weak central government, made up of a Congress with no real executive. While the Congress appointing individuals to handle some executive duties, such as John Jay (Secretary of State) and Robert Morris (Secretary of Treasury); there was no central executive mechanism. To make matters worse, any decision required the approval of all the states. Thus, any one state could veto any proposal. This was particularly problematic when it came to raising revenue, which the Confederation had no means of doing other then requesting money from the states. All attempts to give the Confederation the power to raise money by levying a customs duty came to nothing.
The weakness of the central government also limited the ability of the Confederation to reach satisfactory agreements with foreign governments. American diplomats made trade agreements with a number of European countries, such as France, Sweden and Prussia. Nevertheless, the Confederation was unable to reach any agreements with Great Britain and Spain, two nations with which the US have serious border disagreements. The one major success during the period was the passage of the Northwest Ordinance (1787), which ended the competing state claims for western territory and provided a framework for settling the territory


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