A Comparison and Contrast of the Articles of Confederation and The Constitution To understand what the benefits and drawbacks were, it is important to compare and contrast the positions in which the documents differ. I believe that they are thus: 1. Taxation – The articles allow the congress to levy taxes on each state which means that the taxation burden has to be readjusted within each state among its populace and taxation is not equal ‘Federally’ whereas in the constitution, the Congress levies taxation individually according to the position of each taxpaying individual making it equal across the board. . Justice – there is no central justice system via the articles, there is no system of Federal Courts, each state handles its own courts and justice system and it causes problems with fugitives and inter-state criminal/civic legal issues especially as interstate extradition involved too much red tape hampering justice. This is not the case with the Constitution as it creates a Federal Court System. 3. Trade – The Congress regulates interstate trade whereas with the Articles, there is no existing provision for interstate trade regulation. . Amendments – a unanimous 13/13 vote between all states must be imposed in the Articles while in the constitution, the rule of the majority or 2/3 of the Congress allows for amendment. 5. Representation – each state in the Articles received 1 vote, 1 voice in the Congress but with the Constitution, representation in the lower house is according to the population of the state (dependent on district divisions) and each state gets 2 Senators. 6.
Military – the Congress cannot draft military manpower in the Articles – it is up to each State to ‘send’ troops whereas the Constitution allows for Federal Drafting creating a truly national Armed Forces. 7. Interstate Disputes – The Articles had a complicated interstate dispute system, literally, each state can declare ‘war’ on each other whereas the Constitution has a central interstate dispute management system as the Federal Courts handle arbitration. . Sovereignty & Legislation – The Articles declare that each state is Sovereign and a vote of 9/13 is needed to make a bill a law whereas the Constitution declares that there is one Supreme Law and Supreme Court in the nation and for a bill to be law, 50+1 in each house is what is necessary along with the approval of the Executive Office (President). Opinion/Review
The biggest drawback for each of the representatives in the Continental Congress in terms of adopting the constitution and doing away with the Articles is convincing their once sovereign states to submit to one unifying rule of law and leadership that encompasses and is above all State law and rule. Federal means centralization and to adopt to these laws, to make them uniform across the board was a hard task.
While the representatives had to convince each other and agree to a consensus that they will do away with each of their State’s own system of legal, judicial and administrative standards to conform with a universal system, they have had to convince their populace and the politics of doing so is enormous with pressure coming from all sides – questions of power and who holds it is something that a lot of people fear and unsure about being unfamiliar with the ways of the other states as well as their politics.
Imagine the European Union today – the Articles of Confederation is like the EU constitution – each country is sovereign. Now imagine them giving up each of their country’s complete independence to be part of a bigger whole, a bigger nation. It is a difficult task economically, socially and politically. Personally though if I lived during this period of history I would have shared the ideals of the colonist American Identity and I would have seen and understood how fully interdependent each state was to each other having shared one history as a British Colony.
I would have fully supported the creation of a bigger, singular entity although I would feel a sense of insecurity on how it will pan out in the long run as there is a distinct difference in views and lifestyles between the Northern states and the Southern States. This is where, I think the Constitution triumphs over the Articles. I believe the Lockean principle of equality and I would have thought that to create an independent separate nation from the British Empire was right.
The constitution empowers the citizens of the new American nation giving them a unified sense of governance and identity. Word Count: 759 References: (Web) http://www. usconstitution. net/constconart. html http://ocw. usu. edu/university-studies/u-s-institutions/comparison-of-constitution-and-articles-of-confederation http://www. usconstitution. net/consttop_arti. html http://avalon. law. yale. edu/18th_century/artconf. asp http://home. earthlink. net/~gfeldmeth/chart. art. html Attachment(s):