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Page 1 The Articles of Confederation active from March 1 1781 to June 21 1788 was the first constitution established in the New World The articles were drafted by the British colonists in order to help unify the 13 colonies under a common government This document expressed the form of government the early Americans used until June 21 1788 when the present constitution was drafted The articles came out of a need for the colonies to unite after being freed from British rule and in this need the articles were effective in putting into words the colonists desire to establish a centralized government Unfortunately through the colonists desires to establish a centralized government that was nothing like that of the government imposed on them in England by the King a central government without sufficient power to govern effectively was created Along with this major weakness many other weaknesses followed The governments lack of power rendered it unable to regulate trade and levy taxes to the colonies Finally a unanimous approval was required to pass laws leaving the ability to change or to pass laws at the mercy of one state when all twelve other states agreed First of all the governments inability to regulate trade was a huge problem The states without any government regulation were free to set their own taxes on goods There was not a set tax on certain goods taxes on the same goods were different in every state This inflated state of taxes fluctuating from state to state made interstate commerce very expensive Tariff wars resulted when one state would raise its taxes after getting mad at other states for having high taxes on goods As a result interstate commerce almost completely diminished as tax inflation became too high for trade to flourish Interstate commerce was furthermore hampered by the existence of different currencies in every state Trade became very tough and risky because the value of dollars fluctuated
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