Articles of Confederation vs. Constitution

US Governments

By: Sarah Bridges

In 1775 there was a war between the Thirteen Colonies and Britain.  The Colonies thought they didn’t have enough freedom, so they made their own government. They called it the Articles of Confederation, and put it into effect in 1781.

Soon after, in 1783, the Colonies won the war and decided to call their new country the United States of America. The Articles of Confederation became the first government of the USA.  It was not a very good one, though. Nothing got done under the Articles.

Congress was given the power to make war and peace and make money, but these powers were soon taken over by the states.The United States were not united and were more like thirteen small countries instead of one big one.

By the time 1787 rolled around, people realized that the Articles of Confederation were not working and the First Constitutional Congress was held in Philadelphia. Each state, except Rhode Island, had a Representative (someone who decides what the state votes for).

 

The convention was supposed to alter the articles and fix the government, but the committee decided that they sucked, so they trashed them.

This is when the Constitution was written by James Madison and the Bill of Rights by Thomas Jefferson. The founding fathers signed it in 1787, and it was made official in 1788. The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation for good in 1789.

The Constitution created three branches of government in the United States; Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.  The government’s power was balanced between the three, so that no branch was more powerful than another. The powers were divided between state and federal governments.

Included with the Constitution was the Bill of Rights. This document states the rights of American people. When it was first written, there were 10 amendments, but there are now 27.

The Constitution is very different from the Articles of Confederation, and it is much more successful.  The Constitution is still the government of the United States of America today.

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