Why was a weak national government created under the Articles of Confederation?
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The articles gave the government no separation of powers. The
government was too weak, the Articles left much of the power to the
A) The 13 states had not evolved a national identity.
B) The 13 states were wary of a British-style government.
C) The 13 states were unwilling to make compromises.
D) The 13 states had conflicting economic interests.
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Most Americans of the early 1780s favored a weak national government because they wanted to protect the rights and independence of their state. The Articles of Confederation did not give the national government (Congress) the power to rule over the states. The national government did not even have the power to enforce its laws. The authors of the Articles were, however, concerned that a foreign country might try to conquer one or more states. The Articles, therefore, granted Congress the power to raise an army and declare war. In other words, Congress was given enough power to protect states from attack but not enough power to limit states' rights. Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress was given the power to declare war, raise an army and navy, make commercial treaties, borrow money, control currency, and levy assessments against the states. But Congress lacked the power to impose taxes on the people to pay for any of that. It could ask the states for money, but could not force them to pay. The power to raise an army is almost meaningless without the means to raise money to pay the army. In sum, the Articles of Confederation created a very weak national government, too weak to accomplish what needed to be done. Several serious problems below illustrated the defects in this national government. A new convention would be needed to fix the Articles, but instead it decided to create a whole new system of government. So after reading this I'm pretty sure you will be able understand that they favored a weak national government because they wanted to protect the rights of the: States