Reference on the Central Government: Articles of Confederation Compared to the Constitution

The left column shows common things that governments do. The two variations in the history of our nation are:

        The central government, such as a government that must deal with other nations

        State govenments, such as the governments of Massachusetts or Virginia

 

The two columns on the right show whether the responsibility is assigned to the central government (not to individual states)

        With the Articles of Confederation

        With the Constitution.

 

If you compare carefully, you can see why the Articles of Confederation will fail to protect the citizens.

 

Governmental Responsibilities

Articles of Confederation and Its Failures

Constitution

Responsible to conduct foreign affairs

Yes Congress.

 

Failure: Jay-Gardoqui Treaty

Yes Executive with Congressional approval

 

Responsible to declare war and peace

Yes Congress

Yes Congress

 

Able to coin money

Yes

Yes Congress

 

Able to levy taxes

No

 

Failure: impost duties amendment

Yes Congress

 

Able to raise troops

No

Yes Congress

 

Able to regulate commerce

No

 

Failure: No commercial treaty with Britain

Yes Congress

 

Method to change the system

All 13 state legislatures must agree.

Amendment process

 

2/3 to propose Congress or by convention

3/4 to ratify conventions or state legislatures

 

Method to write laws

9 votes (1 vote per state)

Majority of House and Senate

 

 

 

Copyright C. J. Bibus, Ed.D. 2003-2020

 

WCJC Department:

History Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

Last Updated:

2020

WCJC Home:

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