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ANALYSIS OF ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
Powers of Congress requiring the assent of 9 States, and which could not be exercised by the Committee of States.
Organize admiralty courts.
Determine boundaries between States.
Powers of Congress requiring the assent of 7 States, which could be exercised by Committee of States when Con gress was not in session.
Grant letters of marque in times of peace.
Grant equal rights to citizens of other States.
Requirements Recognize records of other States.
Levy and collect proportion of taxes.
THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION.
MARCH 2, 1781, TO MARCH 4, 1789.
Condition at Close of War. The independence of America having been recognized in 1783, the inefficiency of the government became evident to the statesmen of the Confederacy. The greatest weakness lay in the fact that the functions of government were not performed by separate branches, but were all vested in the Congress, which, while it possessed sufficient legislative powers, had not the executive power to put them into effect. It could declare war, but possessed no means to carry it on; it could make peace, but could not compel the States to comply with the terms; it could appropriate money, but had no power to levy and collect taxes; and, finally, there was no provision for the control of the "NorthWest Territory" or for the regulation of commerce.
Attempts to Correct Articles.-Immediately upon the termination of the war, attempts were made to rectify the faults of the Articles; but these were futile, as each State turned to the advancement of its local interests and opposed any agreement to surrender, for the benefit of all, any rights which it possessed. The Confederacy was gradually disintegrating the States drawing apart from
each other. There were rumors of a division into two or more confederacies, and even a monarchy was suggested.
The Public Lands. One thing, however, tended to hold the Union together the ownership of the public lands. Any State withdrawing from the Confederacy would lose its interest in the Western Territory, whose great resources were then beginning to be realized. Besides this, Congress in its struggle to maintain the credit of the nation had sold portions of this land to meet the public debt.
Commerce. The recognized necessity of uniform commercial relations was, however, the immediate cause of the strengthening of the union. The lack of power in Congress to regulate trade had left the States to act separately in this important matter. The result was a great variance in the laws, and commerce became so demoralized that the Virginia Legislature called upon the other States to send delegates to a convention at Annapolis in September, 1786, to see if some plan could not be devised for the establishment of a uniform system of trade regulations among all the States.
Annapolis Convention.-At the convention which met in response to this appeal, delegates from only five States were in attendance, and the object for which it was called was not attained. But the discussions which were held disclosed the fact that the weakness of the government was generally recognized, and led to a resolution suggesting a convention of delegates from all the States "to devise such further provisions as might appear necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union."
Constitutional Convention.-After considerable delay
Congress adopted the suggestion and issued a call to the States to send delegates to a convention to meet at Philadelphia, May 14, 1787. It was not, however, until the end of May that the convention was formally opened, but from that time the delegates from the twelve States represented (Rhode Island having failed to send a delegation) were in continuous session until September 17, 1787, when they completed the scheme of government which is known as the Constitution of the United States.
THE STATE GOVERNMENTS.
Colonial Governments; Provincial.-Colonial governments are usually divided into three classes: Provincial (Royal or Crown), Proprietary and Charter. New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia had Provincial Governments. They possessed no charters or grants, but were under the control of royal governors, whose only limitations were their commissions and the will of the crown, who appointed and removed them at pleasure. There was also a council appointed by the crown or governor, which aided the governor in his duties and formed the upper house of the colonial legislature. The governor was also authorized to summon an assembly, chosen by the people of the colony, which formed the lower house of the legislature. These two legislative houses had the right to make laws concerning local matters, but their acts could be vetoed by the governor and annulled by the crown. The governor, as the royal representative, possessed exceptional powers. He could remove members of the council and prorogue, or dissolve, the assembly and order another election.
Proprietary.-Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware had Proprietary Governments; that is, the rights of local government were granted by the crown to a certain indi