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Confederation and Constitution in America

The article of confederation attempted to bring equality and balance to the supreme powers of the states with a compelling national government. It incorporated that the states had the authority to collect taxes, not Congress, and limited Congress by not allowing it to draft soldiers or even control trade. The article of confederation weakened the public government since it could not get taxes. Congress’ revenue was created only by requesting states for funds, borrowing from foreign governments, and selling western lands (Hancock, 2021). The U.S. government failed to pay for its commitments owed from the revolution due to a lack of funds as the state governments became careless on duty delegated to them.

The primary two debates were over-representation in Congress and the slave trade. Slave owners needed captives to be listed alongside whites when determining a state’s total population. Some northerners loathed bondage and didn’t think the phrase should be associated with government policy. The issue of whether or not slaves should be counted or not counted was intimately tied to the subject of taxation (Maier, 2010). There was a dispute about whether each state should have one vote regardless of population or uncertain on different issues. If each state in Congress received roughly equal votes, more insignificant states would make their opinions heard.

On the other hand, large states might find it appropriate to base the number of alternatives on the size of the state. To resolve the conflict, Roger Sherman proposed a compromise in which the two proposals would be integrated. The delegates for one house would come from states that rely on population, while the representatives for the other house would be identical, regardless of size.

The ratification process began when the Articles of Confederation were opposed by both the Federalists and the Anti-federalists. Federalists believed that a strong central government was necessary, but opponents believed that a public government would be destructive (Maier, 2010). Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington were all influential federalists. These federalists (Small states) stood to benefit from the strong national government to avoid abuses from their larger neighbors Anti-Federalists such as John Hancock, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson were influential. Eventually, five states out of nine states voted to support the Constitution in the convention, which could become the law.


Hancock, B. (2021). From Reviled to Revered: The U.S. Constitution. The Hanover Historical Review, 45.

Maier, P. (2010). Ratification: the people debate the Constitution, 1787-1788. Simon and Schuster.

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