Evaluate the extent to which the Articles of Confederation were effective in solving the problems that confronted the new nation.
#1: Level Three Thesis (not enough): The Articles of Confederation was successful as a first attempt at building a government. However, the Articles of Confederation was weak politically, socially, and economically. Therefore, the Articles of Confederation did not provide an effective answer to the problems facing the new nation.
#2: Level Two Thesis (just right): The Articles of Confederation created a well organized system for dealing with newly acquired territories and providing a financial means to increase needed revenue. However, it established a loose confederation of states that lacked a sense of national unity, it created internal gridlock that failed to establish a system of checks and balances, and it created a government that did not have the powers to conduct basic governmental business. Therefore, the Articles of Confederation was not effective in solving many of the problems faced by the newly formed United States.
#3: Level One Thesis (too much): Under the Articles of Confederation, the Land Ordinance of 1785 and Northwest Ordinance of 1787 created a well organized system for dealing with newly acquired territories and a plausible means to increase government revenue in a time in which the country was facing massive debt. However, it established a decentralized government with limited sovereignty, creating a league of friendship, with limited effectiveness; it was unable to foster any sense of nationalism; it contained a lack of leadership and a lack of independent judiciary; it lacked provisions for raising revenues and collecting taxes from the states, as well as failing to handle the abuses of paper money, with no control over interstate commerce; and could not protect the country from rebellions like Shays’ Rebellion. Therefore, the Articles of Confederation proved unable to handle the problems faced by the country after the American Revolution.