What Are the Flaws in The Articles of Confederation?

Flaws in the Articles of Confederation included the lack of commerce regulation, ability to raise money through taxes, courts and an executive branch of the government. Additionally, the need for a unified government during the Revolutionary War caused issues such as slavery and western land claims to remain unaddressed.

After the Declaration of Independence was adopted in 1776, the Second Continental Congress worked on drafting a constitution for the new nation. Because of the urgency of the need for a central government to coordinate the war effort, the Articles of Confederation focused on authorizing congressional powers such as the maintenance of an army and navy, the implementation of foreign policy such as treaties and alliances, the management of Indian affairs, the regulation of coinage and the creation of a postal service. However, without the power to raise taxes or regulate domestic or foreign trade, Congress was only able to raise money by requesting it of the states. This left Congress short of funds to run the government or pay off the nation’s wartime debts.

After the war, various congressmen proposed revisions to the Articles of Confederation. However, amendments required the unanimous consent of the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, a Constitutional Convention was called in Philadelphia in 1787 to create a new U.S. Constitution.