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A comparison of The Articles of Confederation and The United States Constitution.

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By Erin Kremers

The Articles of



The Consitution

A constitution is a collection of rules and beliefs that the government enforces. Today, the United States has The Constitution, but it hasn’t always been that way.

Before we had today’s Constitution, the original thirteen states of the United States followed the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation made for a very weak Government. In 1789, our country adopted a new United States Constitution that is still in use today.

The Articles of Confederation and The Constitution do share some similarities. Both can declare war, decide the value of money, and set limits on how long a person can hold an office position in government. States of the United States had to obey the Articles of Confederation when it was in use. Now they must obey The Constitution.

Even though there are a few similarities between the two, there are some very big differences. In The Articles of Confederation, the national government could not tax the people and amendments were only possible if 100% of the states approved. Under The Constitution, congress has the ability to tax and only 75% of states need to approve amendments. Another big difference is that The Constitution creates a federal court system. With the Articles of Confederation, state courts were in charge of the enforcing of laws.

To make an amendment to a constitution means to make a change.

The Articles of Confederation had only one branch of government. This was the Congress. Congress would choose one member to be the president.

The Constitution has three branches of government. They are called Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The Executive Branch is the president. This branch is in charge of carrying out laws. The Legislative Branch is congress. Congress has to make the laws. The Judicial Branch is the judges and courts and they must interpret the laws.

The Articles of Confederation gives the National Government 10 main powers. Those powers include:



1.Make war & peace


2. Send & receive ambassadors



3. Make treaties


4. Borrow money


5. Set-up a system for money


6. Establish post-offices


7. Establish a Navy


8. Raise an Army by asking states for troops


9. Fix uniform standards of weight and measures


10. Settle disputes among states.

An ambassador is a representative for a country.

To coin money means to create money.


The Constitution also gives powers to the National Government. Some of those powers are the ability to coin money and to regulate commerce. They can also declare war, raise and maintain armed forces, and establish a post office.

A delegate is a person sent to represent the state.

Under the Articles of Confederation, the states were represented in Congress. Each state got to send 1 to 7 delegates to Congress. The state also was able to chose how to select which delegates to send. In Congress, each state got one vote.

But under The Constitution, the states are also represented in Congress. Each state gets to pick 2 senators to represent them. Each state also gets representatives for the House of Representatives. The number of representatives each state gets is determined by the state’s population.

Now you know more about both The Articles of Confederation and The Constitution!

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