Essentially, when Britain agreed to the terms of the Treaty of Paris following the Revolutionary War in 1783, a new American nation was finally legitimized.The United States, which as thirteen individual colonies had retained a tradition of internal jealousies and suspicions, began a long and difficult process of building a democratic cohesion for thefirst time.More or less, at this juncture, the only true unifying force between the newly formed states was a ramshackle national government devised by the Articles of Confederation, a political document that was created during the open hostilities two years earlier.
However, in less than ten years after the Revolution's conclusion, this sole unifying force proved far too inadequate as a system of government to support an expanding nation, and it was replaced with a stronger Constitution.Overall, from 1781 to 1789, the Articles of Confederation failed to provide a truly effective government both politically and economically. Perhaps the most fundamental inefficiencies of the Articles were related to the nation's economy.
Having just won just won their own control over commerce and taxation from Britain, the individual states were reluctant to hand these privileges to another authority, even to one of their own creation.Therefore, Congress under the Articles was intentionally designed to be weak to preserve the valued sense of state sovereignty.This governmental feebleness exhibited itself in several areas of the American economy.
For example, under the Articles, Congress had no power to tax the individual states; rather, a voluntary taxation program prevailed.The government wasfirst to assess its expenses and establish quotas for the individual states.States were then to tax their own citizens to raise money for these expenses and turn the proceeds over to Congress.With oftentimes as few as one-fourth of all the states complying with the government'.