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A New Government

A New Government

It all started in 1777.  America finally broke away from Great Britain and now needed their own system of government.  That’s when the Articles of Confederation came into play.  

The Articles of Confederation were an agreement among all thirteen of the original states.  It served as our first constitution.  The Articles of Confederation consisted of only a central government, there were no branches.  The government could make treaties and alliances with other countries, maintain armed forces, and coined money.  In a nutshell the government had no power!

*Commerce- The act of buying and selling


The document didn’t allow the government to levy taxes or commerce.  The power to tax was left to the states so the government could not make any money.  The US citizens also made it near impossible for the document to be changed at all.  In order to make a change there had to be a unanimous vote, which never happens in politics.  The United States was a mess.  The document wasn’t working.  The country was falling apart and something needed to be done!  In 1786 the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia and effectively closed the history of the government under the Articles of Confederation.




The Constitution was on it’s way!  The delegates devised a plan for a stronger federal government with three branches executive, legislative, and judicial-along with a system of checks and balances to ensure that one branch didn’t have more power than the other.




The first branch of the government is the executive branch or the president. The president carries out federal laws and recommends new ones.  He directs national defense and foreign policy, and performs ceremonial duties. The president also has many powers such as: directing the government, commanding the armed forces, dealing with international powers, acting as chief law enforcement officer, and vetoing laws.

The second branch of government is the legislative branch or the senate and house of representatives.  The main task of these two bodies is to make the laws.  The powers of the legislative branch consist of passing laws, originating spending bills, impeaching officials, and approve treaties.


The final branch of government is the judicial branch or the supreme court’s and lower courts.  The judiciary has several powers, like: interpreting the Constitution, reviewing laws, and they decide cases involving states’ rights.


Amendments were also put in the constitution to tweak it as the world around it became more modern.  The first 10 amendments are called the bill of rights.  Not all of the amendments are about rights but some of them are.


The document established America’s national government and fundamental laws, and guaranteed certain basic rights for its citizens.  It was signed on September 17, 1787 by delegates of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia.   It had to be ratified by 9 of the 13 states.  James Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote a series of 85 essays to persuade people to ratify the constitution!  It worked.  On June 21, 1783 the constitution was ratified and it became the official government system of the country!

The United States has come a long way.  It all started with the Articles of Confederation.  The government couldn’t tax or control the states.  Then we moved to the constitution.  The government gained control, could tax the states, and keep our nation united!


The United States of America finally found its fit!  America stands strong and will not be rocked by anyone.  The constitution is still in play today and continues to work for our country.  The US is one of a kind and that is never going to change.


Works Cited


“Articles of Confederation.”,


“National Archives |.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records